Friday, June 19, 2009
We are back again for with some specialties passed down for generations from Cuba. My Mom is from Santiago de Cuba were this special black beans and rice dish is known as Congri. I believe in Havana it’s known as Arroz Morro; in fact my Mom had never heard it termed Arroz Morro until she arrived in the states.
First off, there are three essential requirements to any Cuban dish, plenty of garlic, loud Cuban/Puerto Rican music in the background, and the cook’s favorite pot/pan. The pot Mom uses is very special in the fact that she purchased it in Cuba back in 1962. Mom has used the the pot for the past 47 years exclusively for Congri. The only thing Mom has changed is she now cooks the beans in a pressure cooker to save time.
With Moms special pan, plenty of garlic, and Hector Lavoes “Abuelita” playing in the background we were ready to go.
1 Cup Black Beans
2 Cups White Rice
5 Cups Water
1 lb of Salt Pork
1/2 Orange Pepper
1/2 Yellow Pepper
1/2 Green Pepper
9 Garlic Cloves crushed
2 tbsp Cumin
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Cook black beans in water (we used 5 cups of water in a pressure cooker, with dry beans it took approximately 20 min).
Roughly chop the peppers and onions. Crush the garlic cloves. Note: The salt pork was purchased already cut.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to pan and cook salt pork in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until pork is golden and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add onions, bay leaves, bell peppers, garlic and cumin sauté over medium-high heat 3-4 minutes or until onion is tender.
Add rice and stir in.
Add the cooked beans along with the water used to cook them and let sit, do not cover or stir.
After water has absorbed (approx 10 min) reduce heat, stir, and cover the pot. Let simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
Remove from heat and serve. Congri pairs well with pork dishes.
No salt was needed; enough salt was drawn from the salt pork. You will notice many different regional differences to Congri, some recipes I have seen use bacon instead of salt pork. I also have seen tomato and or vinegar used on some Congri recipes. The recipe we have shared has not been changed from the one my Mom learned as a child growing up in Santiago de Cuba, its different flavors and textures all combined make for a mouthwatering dish.
Labels: Traditional Cuban Cooking