Caribbean-Style Rice and Beans
- 1 cup dried red kidney beans
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ounces small diced salt pork
- 1/2 cup small diced onion
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 cups long grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper (seeds and ribs removed)
Wash the beans and sort through them to remove any stones. Strain the beans and place in a 3-quart Dutch oven. Cover the beans with the water, and bring the contents of the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the beans until fork tender, about 2 to 3 hours.
Strain the beans through a colander, and reserve the liquid. Return the Dutch oven to the stove, and set over a medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and once hot, about 1 minute, add the salt pork to the pan. Cook the pork, stirring often until most of the fat has rendered out and the meat is slightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, shallots, green onions and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring often for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the beans to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until the skins are wrinkled, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice, thyme and cloves to the pan and cook, stirring to coat the rice in the fat for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the coconut milk and 2 1/2 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid (top-off with water if you do not have enough bean cooking liquid) to the pan and bring to a boil. Season the rice and beans with the salt and add the Scotch bonnet to the pan. Once the rice comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pan with a lid. Continue to cook the rice until the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Leave the lid on the rice, and allow it to steam, for 5 minutes, before removing the lid.
After the rice has steamed, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork or large slotted spoon. Serve while hot.
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