Red Rice

How could you be from the South and not love rice?  Dirty Rice might be my favorite, but a lot of people don't like the idea of chicken livers in their rice.  Red Rice is another favorite.  This is a South Carolina recipe, Charleston or Savannah I can't remember which.

Red Rice
6-8 servings
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6 strips bacon, cubed
4 tablespoons bacon grease
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 small can tomato paste
1 1/2 to 2 cans water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
good dash each of salt and pepper
1 1/4 cups of raw, long-grain rice.

Fry bacon and remove from pan, reserving grease; saute' onions in 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.  Add tomato paste, water, salt, sugar, and peppers.  Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes until mixture measures 2 cups.  Cool to room temperature.

Add mixture to rice in top section of rice steamer or a Dutch oven.  Cover.  Add 3 tablespoons bacon grease; steam for 30 minutes, then add crumbled bacon, and loosen rice with a fork.  Add more liquid if necessary.  Cook 30 to 40 minutes longer.