Taste the exceptional flavors of this Arroz Congri dish, a traditional Cuban rice and beans meal made with white rice, black beans and the savory taste of crispy bacon, vegetables and spices.
This incredible recipe was created by Vanessa Bell, a Latina mom, blogger and recipe author on her website De Su Mama.
This recipe starts with the frijoles. Put the beans and bay leaves in a saucepan and cover with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Add water when necessary to keep the beans covered by 1 inch, until just tender. This will take about one hour. Season with a pinch of salt to taste.
Now it’s time to have some fun! Fry the bacon and oil in a 6- to 8-quart pot. Cook over medium-low heat until slightly crispy.
Add the onion, pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano and stir for about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the beans and their liquid, stir well, and add enough water to cover the beans and rice by about 3/4 inch.
Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat then turn down the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover tightly and do not uncover until the water is absorbed and the rice and beans are both cooked for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arroz Congri, or also known as Arroz Moro, is a classic rice and beans delicacy, most well-known for its roots in Cuba, however, it is also found in cuisines through the Caribbean, the southern US and even in Brazil.
Although there is some debate out there as to whether this dish should be made using red beans or black beans, we’ve opted for going with the most commonly served at Cuban-style restaurants using black beans. If you’re trying to stock up on pantry ingredients like white rice and beans, feel free to substitute in canned black beans but make sure to save the liquid and skip step 1.
This Congri is a classic Cuban recipe that takes staple ingredients and transforms them into a rice dish with an exceptional depth of flavor. Serve alongside your own Ropa Vieja to create a meal your family will love. If you’re looking for more rice and beans recipes, you may want to check out a few suggestions here.
By using the liquid from the black beans and cooking the rice and beans together, you can give your rice that signature black color and delicious flavor.
In addition, it’s cooked with bacon, peppers, onions, garlic, cumin and bay leaf, giving it a surprisingly savory flavor, from a seemingly simple side dish.