Arroz con Gandules is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that is usually served around the Christmas season or on special occasions. One of the main reasons this is served on special occasions is that it serves a lot of people. It is called “Puerto Rican rice” and includes the Puerto Rican seasoning sofrito to give it a unique and appetizing taste.
- ⅓ cups Vegetable oil
- ½ cups Cured Salted Pork, Ground
- ½ cups Sofrito
- 6 ounces, liquid Tomato sauce
- 1 package (Size 1g) Sazon Culantro Y Achiote
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 10 whole spanish olives
- 1 box (Size 15 Oz) Gandules (Pigeon Pea)
- 3 cups Water
- 3 cups Medium grain rice
- Salt for taste
Add the vegetable oil to the caldero or large saucepan and set the stove heat to medium. Stir in ground salt pork and cook until fried. Remove the salt cured pork and set aside but keep the fat in the caldero.
Add the sofrito, tomato sauce, sazon culantro y achiote, cumin, olives and gandules to the caldero. Cook and stir the mixture for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse the medium-grain rice to remove the starch (see note below).
Add the rinsed rice and fried salt pork and stir gently. Place a sheet of aluminum foil covering the top opening of the caldero and cover with the lid. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat without opening the lid at all. Stir the rice and add salt to taste.
1. For the perfect amount of water, make sure the rice is less than the 1 inch liquid amount before placing the caldero sheet and lid.
2. Do not wash the starch out of the rice if you prefer your rice to be sticky.