How to make it

  • Making 1/3 cup of Essential Garlicky Achiote Seasoning Paste. Very finely pulverize the achiote in a spice grinder, then transfer it to a smal bowl and mix in the allspice, pepper, oregano and vinegar. Roughly chop the garlic, sprinkle with a generous 1 teaspoon of the salt, then, working right on your cutting board, use the back of a spoon or the side of a knife to work the two into a smooth paste. Scoop the achiote mixture onto the garlic, work the two together, then dribble on and work in enough water (usually about a tablespoon or 2) to give it all the consistency of a thick but spreadable paste.
  • The carnitas. Place the pork cubes in a 2-quart, heavy-bottom sauce pan. Cover with water by 1/2-inch. Add lime juice (if you're using it) and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set over medium heat and simmer, partially covered, until all the liquid is absorbed and the meat begins to fry in its own rendered fat, about 1 hour. Reduce the heat a little and cook uncovered, turning the meat frequently, until evenly browned about 10 minutes. Remove the meat, pour off all but enough fat to lightly coat the bottom of the pan and set the pan aside.
  • The vegetables. While the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Place the chile directly over the gas flame or 4 inches below a very hot broiler and roast until blistered and blackened on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel, let stand 5 minutes, then peel, cut out the seed pod, scrape out the seeds and cut into 1/4-inch dice.
  • The Rice. Return the pan in which you made the carnitas to medium heat and add the rice and onion. cook, stirring regularly and scraping up any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan, until the rice is chalky looking and the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a small saucepan heat the broth with 2 tablespoons of the achiote seasoning and the remaining 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, depending on the saltiness of the broth. (Refrigerate the rest of the achiote seasoning for more batches of rice or to use as a flavorful marinade for grilled or broiled meat, chicken or fish.) Whisk the broth mixture well, then add to the hot rice pan along with the browned pork, roasted chile and carrots. Stir once, scrap down any rice kernels clinging to the side of the pan, cover and cook over medium-low for 15 minutes. Uncover and bite into a grain of rice. It should be nearly cooked through. If the rice is just about ready, turn off the heat, stir in the peas, re-cover, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the cooking. If the rice seems far from done, cook for 5 minutes or so, retest and then ad the peas, remove from the heat, and let stand a few minutes. Fluff the rice, scoop it into a warm serving dish, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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    " It was excellent "
    raelene1951 ate it and said...
    I love it!!!
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