Three Guys From Miami: Cuban and Spanish Food Recipes

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!

Congri - Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice -- Congri

By Three Guys From Miami

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

The traditional Congri of Cuba Oriente made with red beans.


1 pound dried small red beans
1 ham bone (shank end) with plenty of meat or 3 cups ham in chunks
5 cups water
1 cup red wine
4 strips bacon, chopped
Olive oil for frying
2 cups diced yellow onion
2 cups diced green bell pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 habanero pepper, quartered or 2 jalapeño peppers sliced lengthwise
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups parboiled white rice
Cover the dried red beans with water in a large pot. Bring to a boil then remove beans from heat, cover and let them soak overnight.

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!

This recipe and editorial content from the book: "Three Guys From Miami Celebrate Cuban." Copyright ©2006 All Rights Reserved.

No copying or commercial duplication of any content (including photos) without the express written permission of the authors and proper attribution.

"Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban" is now available as a Kindle eBook.

This new Kindle version contains all of the recipes and editorial copy from the original print edition. As a bonus, the new Kindle edition includes more than 24 new photos of the prepared dishes.


"Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban"



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