Gran’s peas and rice recipe

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  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 2–4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons light brown or palm sugar
  • 1⁄4 pound salt pork, 1 thick-cut strip of bacon, or 1 to 2 good bones
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 4–5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups parboiled long-grain rice
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pigeon peas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 (13½-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chili pepper
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch of thyme, tied together
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and when it starts to shimmer, add the sugar and cook until the sugar liquefies and the oil just starts to smoke. Throw in the salt pork, onions, ginger, garlic, and a bit of salt and reduce the heat to medium-low. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  3. Now, add in the rice, pigeon peas, coconut milk, stock, the whole, uncut pepper, the bay leaf, thyme, and the 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper at this point. Bring up to a boil and then place in the oven, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Switch the oven off after 20 minutes and partially remove the cover but leave it in the hot oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. This will help dry out the rice a bit.
  5. Remove the pepper. (It shouldn’t have popped! If it did, you might be in for it….) Remove the bay leaf and thyme bunch and add in a small handful of chopped cilantro to garnish. You can also season again at this point but be careful not to break up the rice too much. Serve hot!

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