Jorge Castillo: The traditional Congri of Cuba Oriente is made with RED beans.
Glenn Lindgren: Congri is very similar to moros y cristianos.
Jorge Castillo: But the Eastern Cubans use red beans instead of black and they give it an extra kick.
Raúl Musibay: It is a very good dish! Congri is a nice change of pace from all of the black beans that we eat at home!
The traditional Congri of Cuba Oriente made with red beans.
INGREDIENTS:1 pound dried small red beans
The next day, drain the beans and cover them with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, about 1 hour. Drain.
While your beans are cooking, place your ham bone in a separate large pot with the water and wine and a pinch of salt. You may substitute 2 or 3 cups of ham if you don't have a ham bone. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour. If using ham chunks, reduce this cooking time to about 30 minutes.
Remove the ham bone or ham chunks and KEEP THE LIQUID -- this is your stock.
If you used a ham bone, remove all of the meat from the bone and break into small chunks.
Use a large, covered cooking pot. Begin by frying the bacon pieces in a little olive oil until they begin to crisp. Add the onion and green pepper and a little more oil and sauté until the onions are tender. Add the garlic and ham chunks and cook another minute or 2.
Add the red beans, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, vinegar, habanero or jalapeños, salt, pepper, and 4 cups (measure exactly) of the stock you made when you cooked the ham (If you're short on stock, add a little water to make up the difference.)
Rinse the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Add the rinsed rice and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook over low heat -- stirring once or twice in the first 5 minutes only -- about 30 to 45 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked.
Remove the habanero or jalapeño pepper and the bay leaf. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
TIP: We frequently "forget" to remove the hot peppers from the plate of an annoying (and unsuspecting) in-law!
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