Hispanic is a term, which is quite often used to describe culture, people and traditions which are linked to Spain and sometimes Portugal. There are various dishes which are specifically characterised as hispanic food and among such recipes, Cuban style pork and rice is one of the most famous hispanic recipes.
This is a very unique dish, on which the pork is cooked by first coating it with a spice mixture. This gives a very beautiful characteristic taste and color to the dish.
Preparation Time Needed: 20-30 minutes
Cooking Time Needed: 40-50 minutes
1 dutch oven
1 stirring spoon
2 large bowls
1 sharp knife
1 lb. of pork chops, boneless
1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons of rum
1 cup + 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh artichoke hearts, thawed
2 cups + 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons of paprika
1 cup + 1/2 cup of uncooked arborio rice, rinsed
1/3rd cup of red bell pepppers, cut into strips and roasted
1/5th teaspoon of saffron threads
1/4th teaspoon of ground cumin
2-3 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup + 1/2 cup of chopped onion (red or white)
12 large shrimps, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. First, put the arborio rice into a large bowl and top it off with fresh water. Swirl and rub the rice grains with your hand to rinse them. You will notice that the water is turning murky after a few minutes of rinsing the rice in it. Once that happens, discard away all the water from the bowl and then fill it up with some more fresh water.
Rinse the rice in the same way 3-4 times more by discarding the dirty water and filling up with fresh water everytime after rinsing the rice. Continue rinsing the rice until the water remains almost clear even after rinsing the rice. Once done, drain away the entire water from the bowl and then dump the rice over a large sheet of paper.
2. Cover up the rice with the paper on both sides and then press the paper to soak away all the excess water from the rice. You may change the paper if it becomes too wet to soak anymore water, but make sure that the rice grains are thoroughly dried. If necessary, let the rice sit on the paper while you prepare the other things, so that the rice grains can dry completely.
While the rice is drying, take the pork chops and trim off excess fat from them by simply slicing off the fat strips with a knife. Once done, cut the pork chops into 1-2 inch sized pieces. Put the pork chop pieces on a plate and set them aside.
3. Next, take the onion and diced it after peeling off its skin. After that, take the tomatoes and cut them in half. Trim off the tip of the tomatoes and then extract out the seeds. Finally, cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Once done, take a large bowl and put the ground cumin, paprika, 11/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 11/2 teaspoons of minced garlic, chopped oregano, a pinch of salt, rum and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper into the bowl.
Combine all the ingredients by stirring the mixture with a spoon until you get a thoroughly mixed homogenous mixture. Once done, put the pork pieces into the bowl and stir to coat each piece with the mixture.
4. Once done, let the pork pieces sit in the mixture for 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, place a dutch oven on the stove and lit the flame. Turn the knob and maintain the flame on medium high. Pour the remaining oil into the dutch oven and then swirl it to coat its base with the oil.
Let the oil heat up a little and then dump the spice mixture coated pork pieces into the dutch oven. Cook the pork pieces for 5-6 minutes or until they are nicely browned on all sides and are cooked at least halfway. Once done, spoon out the pork pieces from the dutch oven and set them aside.
5. Next, put the chopped garlic into the dutch oven. Saute the garlic for a few seconds, until it starts liberating a wonderful aroma and then add-in the chopped onions. Saute the onions for 4-5 minutes or until it starts turning soft. Once that happens, stir-in the dried rice.
Stir the rice until it is well coated with the onion mixture. Next, add the saffron threads, chopped tomatoes and the capers to the rice mixture. Stir the mixture to mix everything nicely and then pour the chicken stock over the rice mixture. Give a brief stir to the mixture and then turn up the flame to high.
6. Let the mixture boil for 2-3 minutes and then reduce the flame to medium low to simmer the rice for 15-20 minutes or until the rice grains are partially cooked. While the rice is cooking, set a preheating temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit on your oven.
Once you are ready with the rice, add the artichoke hearts and the peeled and deveined shrimps to the rice mixture. Stir the mixture once again to combine everything and then put the lid on the dutch oven. Then insert the dutch oven into the preheated oven to bake the mixture for 20-25 minutes.
7. As the time passes, take out the dutch oven from the oven and add-in the pork pieces and their juices to the rice mixture. Give a final stir to the mixture and then scatter the roasted red bell peppers all over the mixture. Once done, place back the dutch oven into the oven and bake the rice mixture for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the rice and the meat are cooked through. Once done, remove the dutch oven from the oven and then serve the rice immediately.