Craving Dominican pork chops with guandules — aka pigeon peas — and savory rice (and honestly, aren’t you?), just drop by the home of daughter-mother Rose and Angela Rosario of Angela’s Bakery, of Brooklyn, NY fame. It’s one of their favorite family weekday comidas—and they have honed it over the years to everyday easy perfección.
Their legendary pastelería, opened by Angela in 2003, is the go-to New York-area bakery for birthday party-perfect Dominican cake and other authentic sweets. Rose is president and CEO, and her mom Angela is the founder. Most days, Angela can be found in the cocina whipping up dinner for the whole family. Topping Rose’s list of of the most-requested comidas by her mom are these savory pork chops and—of course—the No. 1 Dominican breakfast dish (though Rose loves to eat it any time of day, she admits): mangú con los tres (actually dos) golpes—mashed plantains with fried eggs and salami.
Today, we’re honored to spotlight Angela and Rose’s family-famous Dominican porkchops. Their chuletas are seasoned with adobo and cooked in avocado oil, Rose’s go-to aceite. Once finished in a glaze of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, the chops are served alongside arroz con guandules—white rice and pigeon peas. The recipe for all three parts of this plato is below.
One funny thing about her mother, says Rose, is that she is a truly great cook who doesn’t love cooking and races to get meals done as fast as she can. “She doesn’t even use sofrito,’ says Rose. ”She just looks in the refrigerator and whatever she sees, she pulls it out and makes it super fast. And it’s crazy how it comes out so good. I’m like, Mami, ’When I try that it doesn’t come out so good, no me sale.’ But for her, yes.”
The same goes for Angela’s baking. She is a gifted baker who doesn’t even have a sweet tooth, says Rose. “My mom started baking as a hobby, because she was at home with us. And she took a class with a friend and started making cakes. It’s not like she loved baking. But, and I’m the same way, whatever we do, we do it right. She always says: ’Se hace bien, o no se hace,’” says Rose.
Duly noted abuela-cooking wisdom: Cook it right, or don’t do it at all.
For the guandules part of this dish, her mother adds peeled and diced auyama pumpkin, as well as soy sauce to the pigeon peas. “We put the water in a 1:1 ratio, with salt and the oil, let it boil—and throw in the rice. When the water se seca, lo tapamos: when the water is absorbed, we cover it with the lid, and it all cooks together,” says Rose.
Rose prefers her guandules and their juice ladled on—not next to—the rice. “I don’t like them on the side. They have to be right on top. Then, the chuleta goes on the side. I like to garnish this dish with avocado and a little salt with avocado or olive oil, and then top it all off with a little garlic powder.”
Hungry? Us too. We’re full-on craving these Dominican pork chops—made with mucho amor and authentic Dominican pride.
For dessert, may we recommend you order a Dominican cake mix (or two—the vanilla and the chocolate mix) via mail directly from Angela’s Bakery and serve their bizcocho at your next family and/or family feast? It’s the perfect and authentic way to end a meal starring these chuletas.