Like many Portuguese rice dishes, this can be made quite wet and soupy, or firmer and more like risotto, depending on what you are serving it with. I like it to be quite soupy if I’m serving it with fish, but thicker and creamier if it’s to go with chicken.
2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking (you could also use lard or even bacon fat)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 medium-sized tomatoes, seeded and diced
200 g (7 oz) carolino, risotto or long-grain rice
500 ml (17 fl oz / 2 1/4 cups) hot vegetable or chicken stock (depending on what you plan to serve it with)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped coriander (cilantro) or oregano leaves, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based lidded pan over a medium–low heat. Add the onion and sauté gently for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down and release their juices. Next, add the rice and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Finally, add the hot stock and a generous dose of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then clamp on the lid, reduce the heat and simmer. Leave to cook for 15 minutes, without removing the lid.
After the cooking time has elapsed, lift the lid and taste to check the seasoning and that the rice is cooked. Fluff up the grains, and return the lid. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes longer, then serve with a little chopped coriander or oregano.
Recipe excerpted with permission from Lisbon by Rebecca Seal and Steven Joyce, published by Hardie Grant Books June 2017.
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