Tuesday, 30 April 2013

M is for Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians)

The dish is one from Southern Spain and stems from the time that the region was ruled by the Moors--hence the name.

My version (and there as many versions of this dish as there were Moors) cooks in the oven so you don't have to keep stirring it to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan.  However, check once or twice during its time in the oven to ensure there is enough water for the rice to cook properly.

  • 1 regular-sized can black beans, drained
  • 1 small pack of lardons
  • 2 cups of light chicken stock (plus extra hot water for cooking)
  • 1 cup of long grain rice
  • 1 tblspn olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tblspn red wine vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 large sprigs of thyme
  • S&P
  • 1 beef tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 165°C (if fan assisted, 180°C if not)
  2. If using the lardons, dry fry for five minutes in a large frying pan
  3. Then add the olive oil, allow it to heat up and fry off the onion and pepper for five minutes till soft (but not browned)
  4. Add in the garlic and cook for a further minute
  5. Add in the rice; cook for two-to-three minutes until all the grains are coated in the oil

  6. Stir in the beans, stock/water, vinegar and the fresh herbs gently (you don't want to mush up the beans); season with the salt and pepper and decant everything into a casserole dish
  7. Cook in the oven for around half an hour, checking halfway that there's enough liquid left for the rice to cook
  8. Once cooked, taste to check the seasoning and then fork through to fluff up the rice, removing the bay leaves and thyme twigs
  9. Serve with the fresh tomato chunks stirred through at the last minute

Serves four on its own or eight-to-ten when served alongside the other tapas dishes.

It can easily be made as a veggie version by cooking the beans in water rather than chicken stock and omitting the lardons.

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