Rice and beans are religion in Puerto Rico, though they’re typically prepared separately but served together, several spoonfuls of beans on top of white rice. But mamposteao — easily my favorite name for a Puerto Rican dish — combines the two. It’s a preparation intended to make use of leftovers, as it benefits from day-old rice and prepared beans. Traditionally, pork and tomato sauce are added — but, for a more subtle approach to this recipe, bacon fat replaces ham or tocino (fatback) here, giving the dish a smoky richness without any meat. You can prepare this dish from start to finish with fresh rice and fresh beans, but it’s not recommended. Think of this as a satisfying way to make use of leftover ingredients that also pairs well with a variety of Puerto Rican dishes.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil
- ½cup sofrito
- 1teaspoon store-bought or homemade sazón
- 1 ½cups or 1 (15-ounce) can drained, cooked beans, such as kidney, pinto or pink beans
- ½cup chicken or vegetable broth (or liquid from beans), plus more as needed
- 2 ½cups cooked long- or short-grain white rice
- 1teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Step 1In a wide skillet or wok, heat bacon fat over medium-high until just simmering. Add sofrito and sazón, and sauté, stirring frequently, until liquid has evaporated and mixture darkens in color, 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 2Add beans and broth, and bring to a simmer. Cook until broth thickens, forming a sauce, about 3 minutes.
Step 3Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt, and increase heat to high, stirring well to incorporate. If you want a moister rice, simply add more broth.
Step 4Once rice is fully heated and steaming (about 2 minutes), reduce heat to medium, and press rice gently into the pan, allowing the bottom of the rice to crisp, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes.
Step 5Fold the bottom of the rice into the top to incorporate. Rice should be compact, but fairly dry. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer, stirring once or twice more until it reaches the desired crispness. Season with salt to taste.
Step 6To serve, scoop into a small rice bowl, press gently, then turn each onto a plate or into a larger bowl. Garnish with cilantro.