Mexican Pork and Rice

Mexican Pork and Rice is a colourful and spicy dish to serve at an informal supper. Serve it with an avocado and orange salad and a well-chilled, dry white wine.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 lb. minced pork

8 oz. sausage meat

2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into

1-inch pieces

1 small green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and cut into rings

3 oz. sultanas or seedless raisins

1 garlic clove, crushed -½ teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoon hot chilli powder

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

6 oz. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in cold water for

30 minutes and drained

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

4 fl. oz. water

2 tablespoons tomato puree juice of

2 lemon

3 tablespoons pine nuts

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate’ heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the pork and sausage meat and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the meat is lightly browned all over.

Add the celery, green pepper, sultanas or seedless raisins, garlic, cumin, chilli powder, parsley, salt, pepper and rice.

Fry the mixture, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the rice has changed colour. Add the tomatoes with the can juice, the water and tomato puree and stir to mix. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the heat and place it in the oven. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle the lemon juice and the pine nuts over the top. Return the casserole to the oven, uncovered, and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.