Arroz Atollado is one of those typical family friendly dishes that’s usually made once a week for lunch in a large batch and eaten as leftovers.
While every region and household in Colombia claim to have their own version of arroz atollado (for example, on the coast they use seafood instead of red meat), the concept is essentially the same; put a shitload of rice and meat in a pot and slow cook it until the rice is cooked through.
Atollado literally translates to stuck, making arroz atollado “stuck rice”. This is due to the tendencey of the rice to stock to the bottom of the pot. Some like to think of arroz atollado as the Colombian version of a risotto or paella but to me arroz atollado will always be its own monster, something that is very Latino.
In this recipe, I used pork, beef, chicken and chorizo but like I said pretty much any meat will do. The chorizo gives it a lot of flavour so depending on where you buy your chorizo, it could make a big difference to your rice (note to self: do not skimp on chorizo). I use a very well spiced chorizo from my local butcher.
Serves: 5 very hungry adults
1/4 lb pork
1/4 lb skirt steak
1/4 lb chicken breast
500 g of rice
3-4 cups of water
5 ripe tomatoes
1 red pepper
1/4 cup of green peas
1 spring onion
6 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
1. Dice the garlic and split the green onions into strips.
2. Put the beef and pork to cook in a pot of water over medium heat and the chicken in a separate pot. Add the garlic and spring onions to the broth.
3. While the meat is cooking, ice up your carrots and grate your tomatoes and red pepper. Put them aside.
4. After about 4 minutes or when the meat is cooked through, remove the meat from the broth and set them aside to cool. Do not throw away your broth as you will need it to cook the rice.
5. When the meat is cool, dice it up with the chorizo and return them to the pot along with the grated tomato and pepper, carrots and peas. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
6. Measure your rice according to the packet and mix it into the pot, using your broth as water for the rice.
7. Bring your mixture to a boil hen reduce to a simmer and cover. Stir your mixture regularly (say every 5-10 minutes).
8. When the rice is soft, sticky and cooked through, you are ready to eat.
9. Serve your rice with some ketchup over it and enjoy.
Bonus tip: Fry up an egg and some sweet plantain on the side if you want to do it like a pro.