Recently my mom was asking me if I knew of some versatile new seasoning she could try to liven up her cooking a bit. I felt a bit stuck in a rut myself, and remembered that I've always wanted to try making sofrito but have been too lazy... so of course I told my mom she should make it, since she usually has more gumption than me in the kitchen. Luckily my mom has always been very generous, and froze me a cup of this amazing stuff. It can really go in just about anything, particularly any Latin American dish, and make it something really spectacular. Sofrito is so fragrant that its pungent aroma can be noticed through a zip lock bag, after the sofrito has been frozen.
I had a bunch of leftover braised pork shoulder from a ramen experiment, and had no idea what to do with it. I remembered the sofrito my mom had left me in the freezer and knew I should incorporate that. I just started cooking, not having any clue where I was going to end up, but thankfully I wrote it all down because this meal ended up being really tasty. Not to mention fast, which is what I needed the day I made it since my daughter needed my undivided attention, hence the lack of photos in this post.
for the sofrito rice
1 cup of your favorite long grain rice
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 cup sofrito
1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken stock or water
2 tsp adobo seasoning
for the twice cooked pork
~2 lb cooked pork shoulder (about 4 cups)
-I prepared mine by slowly braising it in a stock that had been made by simmering dried
shitake mushrooms and kotsuobushi, but any way you've cooked it (unless its been
slathered in barbecue sauce) where a mild flavor is yielded should work.
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 heaping Tbsp adobo seasoning
1 tsp cumin
6 - 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup unfiltered cider vinegar
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Place a medium pot over medium high heat and add the sunflower oil and onion. Saute for about 3 minutes, then add the sofrito. Cook till nearly all the moisture has evaporated, then add the rice. Saute for a few minutes till most of the rice has toasted a bit and turned opaque. Add the stock or water and adobo. Bring to a boil, giving it a couple good stirs while it comes up to temp. Cover and dial heat back to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the rice sit for another 10 - 15 minutes, covered. Don't peek!
While the rice is cooking, place a large enameled cast iron pan or non-stick skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is heating up, quickly pull apart the cooked pork if needed. Add the oil and pork to the pan, followed by the garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and give it a good stir. Cook and stir occasionally till nearly every bit of moisture has evaporated and the pork starts sizzling again. Add a bit more vinegar or hot sauce to taste.
Fluff the rice with a fork and serve in a large bowl, topping it with the pork and black beans. Serve with lots of hot sauce, or some nice crema and cilantro, or serve it along side some corn tortillas or roll it all up in a burrito. Either way, it's going to be really delicious.