The Famous Belizean Rice and Beans
Belizean Rice and beans
Number one in our series of mouth-watering Belizean recipes
We promised to start providing recipes for some of the meals we mentioned on our Six of the Best Foods of Belize post (22 .06.13).
We were taught to always keep our promises, and after a bit of thinking decided to start off with that essential backbone of any Belizean meal, rice and beans.
Rice and Beans encapsulates everything that is wonderful about Belizean cuisine. Simple, low cost ingredients are raised to new heights by the skilful addition of spices and loving preparation. Each cook prepares theirs with just enough nuances to make each plate a little bit different. Some people believe that you can even determine different personality types based on that person’s rice and beans. Mild mannered, aggressive, shy, saucy, robust or retiring, it can all be reflected in how they prepare this quintessential Belizean dish.
Therefore, I expect to hear some people saying, “Well, that’s close, but I add a li bit of…” or an outright, “Harrumph – that’s not how you make rice and beans!”
So, forewarned and forearmed, here’s one person’s simple take on this dish, and do feel free to experiment.
First, you make
1 pound/ ½ kilo (2 cups or so) dry red kidney beans
3 – 6 cloves smashed and minced garlic
1-2 medium onion, chopped
1 pig’s tail, or pieces bacon or salt beef (I used three rashers of bacon or pieces of smoked ham, and sometimes use bacon bones. My butcher looks nervous when I ask for pig tails, so I gave up…
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup coconut milk (not lite – we want that fat content)
Place beans in a large pot and cover with cool water; soak overnight or 6 hours. Drain, add garlic, onion, and meat and boil until beans are tender. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and coconut. Stir and continue to let boil while preparing rice.
41/2 cups white rice
Rinse the rice and add to the beans, stir, and then cover. Stir occasionally, cook until rice is tender.
Now you’re on your way to serving a complete Belizean meal. Next time we’ll provide the another addition to the plate, so that in no time at all, whether you’re in Bangkok, Berlin, Boston or Brunei, you’ll be able to serve your guests as true taste of the Jewel.
Happy eating, and stay tuned…
Tags: belize cuisine, Belize Food, belize food recipes, Belize Recipes, belize rice and beans, belize stew chicken, belizean cooking recipes, belizean food, belizean rice and beans, traditional belizean cuisine