Caribbean Pork with Black Beans and Yellow Rice
February 19, 2011
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Originally from the Canary Islands mojo criollo, literally creole sauce, is a popular garlic, onion, and sour orange marinade used throughout the Caribbean. It is readily available in most supermarkets with a reasonably well-stocked Latin foods section. I used it to marinate a butterflied pork tenderloin that I seared quickly on a griddle. (Had the weather been more salubrious I would have done it on the charcoal grill.) I served it sliced with Caribbean black beans and, mixing cuisines a bit, Yucatán-style achiote rice.
- 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
- Mojo criollo, about 1 cup
- 2 slices of bacon, coarsely chopped
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 Tobago seasoning pepper or habanero, seeded and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
- ½ pound dried black beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup medium grain rice
- 1 Tbsp. achiote paste
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh cilantro leaves to garnish
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Remove the membrane (silverskin) from the pork and trim any excess fat. Lay the tenderloin on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut it parallel to the board to ¼-inch from being sliced into two pieces. Unfold and flatten. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound to ¼-inch thickness with a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Place in a shallow pan just large enough to hold it and pour on mojo criollo to barely cover. Set aside.
Rinse the beans and pick them over for any small stones or discolored beans. Put a bit of olive oil into a pressure cooker and brown the bacon lightly. Add one half of the chopped onion and sauté until just softened, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the pepper and garlic for continue to cook for another minute. Put the beans into the pressure cooker along with four cups of the water. Cook at high pressure for 25 to 30 minutes then allow the pressure to release normally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the beans are cooking, sauté the remaining half of the onion and the rice in a bit of olive oil in a heavy pot with a tightly fitting lid for 2 or 3 minutes. Mix the achiote paste into the remaining two cups of water and pour over the rice. Season with ½ tsp. of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and correct seasoning before serving.
Set a griddle or large skillet over high heat. When very hot, film with olive oil and sear the pork quickly on each side. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Make a small cut in the meat to check for doneness and continue to cook for until just slightly pink. Remove to a cutting board and slice thinly to serve, garnished with the cilantro leaves.