Few Dominicans haven't tried Locrio de Chicharrón de Cerdo (Rice & Pork Crackling), which we enjoy on special occasions, and love very much.
Why we ❤️ it
It's been many years since I last cooked Locrio de Chicharrón de Cerdo (Rice and Pork Crackling), but it has always been a classic in my family. I ate it so many times at my paternal home, but I seldom cooked it myself. It's time to change that.
Who raised by a Dominican mother didn't enjoy this? This dish, this meat is part of our cultural DNA.
Pork in Dominican cooking
Pork was a hugely important meat starting from the moment Columbus set foot on our island for the second time on his second voyage to the "new continent" in 1493. This time around he came prepared for colonization and conquest and, along with weapons and provisions, came the first horses, pigs, and cattle.
Pigs multiplied like... er, rabbits(?)--Well, I'm not sure about the intricacies of pig reproduction. The fact that they are omnivorous and did not have natural predators in their new home helped a lot. They soon escaped into the mountains and outcompeted some of the native fauna of the island. A couple of years ago I found out that there are still wild pigs living in remote mountains of the Dominican Republic.
Pork crackling and locrio de chicharrón de cerdo.
It is hardly any surprise that pork became a staple of our diet and the preferred meat at celebrations. In fact, our Puerco Asado (Pork Roast) is the highlight of the most important meal of the year: Christmas Eve.
Second only to puerco asado, chicharrón (cracklings) is the favorite way of consuming pork in the Dominican Republic, although there are many other pork-based dishes. And if you find chicharrón, then it follows that you'll be also making some Locrio de Chicharrón de Cerdo (Rice and Pork Crackling). It's the logical thing to do.
About this recipe
I had Locrio de Chicharrón de Cerdo once in a while at home growing up. It was always a special treat, once you try it you'll find it out why.
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Locrio de Chicharrón de Cerdo Recipe (Rice & Pork Crackling)
- 2 lbs chicharrón de cerdo, [0.9 kg] (pork cracklings)
- 4 cup rice, long grain
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, (corn, peanut or soy)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup diced bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon oregano (dry, ground)
- 1 cup diced carrot, (optional)
- 1 tablespoon mashed garlic
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground)
- ¼ cup pitted green olives, of your preference
- 1 cup auyama (kabocha squash), (West Indian pumpkin), diced
- 1 teaspoon cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Chop chicharrones: Cut the chicharrón into 1½" [5 cm] pieces.
- Heat vegetables: Heat the oil over low heat in 4 qt [4 lt] cast aluminum or iron pot.
- Heat chicharrón: Add chicharrón and heat-through. Add bell pepper, oregano, carrot, garlic, black pepper, olives, auyama, cilantro, and salt. Simmer until everything is heated through.Add tomato sauce and stir to combine. Add 7 cups of water, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil.
- Cook rice: Add the rice and stir often to prevent it from sticking to the pot. Once all the water has evaporated, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes, uncover and stir bringing the rice from the bottom to the top. Cover and cook another 5 minutes.Taste rice for "doneness"; it should be firm but tender inside. If necessary, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serving: Serve with tostones and avocado slices.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Published Oct 18, 2014, revised