Latin American Pork and Rice
Tender rice, rich pork, and lively seasonings power this homey Latin staple.
Why This Recipe Works
For this homey Latin American staple, we chose pork shoulder because it lends deeper pork flavor than leaner tenderloin and is harder to overcook. Cutting the shoulder into chunks and braising it in water with a quartered onion, smashed garlic cloves, and bay leaves tenderized this tough cut and coaxed out all its tasty richness while simultaneously yielding a rich pork broth in which to cook the rice. After sautéing a sofrito of red bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin and dried oregano in a Dutch oven, we added medium-grain rice (which turns creamy once cooked), Sazón (a Latin seasoning blend), and then the pork and rich broth. Once the rice was done, we let the pot sit undisturbed and covered for an additional 20 minutes so the flavors could meld and the rice could absorb the extra moisture. Chopped green olives, peas, chopped fresh cilantro, and a little red wine vinegar stirred in at the end brightened up this satisfying dish.