Instant Pot Beef and Rice Pilaf (Plov)

Plov is a favorite beef and rice meal in the Russian cuisine. The tender beef, prepared with carrots, onions, along with a collection of spices, flavors the rice that cooks perfectly in the pressure cooker and cooks it in a fraction of the time.

Traditional Plov (rice and meat pilaf) is made with lamb, but I prefer using beef. I have a stovetop recipe already posted here, but cooking it in the Instant Pot is so much faster and the results are excellent, as long as you don’t overcook it. The most time consuming part of the recipe is browning the meat and the vegetables, the rest is so quick and easy.

The long grain white rice gets so much flavor from the spices and the aromatic vegetables – onion, carrots and garlic. The leftovers reheat really well, so you can serve it the next day, or even freeze it for another meal down the road. I love reheating Plov on a skillet – it creates the perfect texture and flavor. 

This recipe is for a large batch of Plov. Feel free to halve the recipe; keep the cooking times the same.

Ingredients:

3 lbs top sirloin beef, cut into 1 inch cubes

2-3 Tablespoons oil (avocado, sunflower, grape seed, light olive oil, etc.)

2 onions, finely chopped

3 carrots, cut into julienne

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 – 1 teaspoons cumin

1-2 teaspoons paprika

1-2 teaspoons dry herb mixture, optional

3 cups long grain white rice

Instructions:

Prepare all the ingredients.

What Meat is Best For Plov?

I prefer to use top sirloin – it has great flavor and becomes nice and tender. You can also use beef chuck, but you will need to cook it longer – up to an hour, for it to become tender. You can also use chicken thighs or pork shoulder or boneless country style pork ribs. After sautéing the chicken or pork, you don’t need to braise it, just add the rice and cook for 3 minutes. I do not recommend using chicken breast or pork loin for Plov, since they will dry out and become tough.

What Rice is Best For Plov?

I use long grain white rice, either basmati or jasmine – basmati is my personal favorite. Medium grain, short grain and brown rice will all have different cooking times than long grain white rice. Medium grain and short grain rice will also have a clumpy texture and the grains of rice will stick together.

You do NOT need to wash the rice in this recipe.

Preparing Rice and Beef Plov in the Instant Pot (an Electric Pressure Cooker)

Turn on the Instant Pot. Using the “Saute” function on the Instant Pot, adjust the heat to “More”. Add the oil and when the oil is hot, brown the beef in batches, until golden brown on both sides.

Browning the Beef

Don’t crowd the beef. If you add too much beef, it will begin to steam and you won’t get a sear on the meat. As you brown on batch of meat, remove it from the Instant Pot and set it aside in another bowl. If the bottom of the Instant Pot starts to burn, pour in a bit of water, scrape out the burned bit, pour out the water, wipe out the inner chamber and start again.

When you start a new batch of beef browning in the Instant Pot, add a bit more oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot, and heat it up until the oil is shimmering again before adding the beef. This should happen very quickly.

Sautéing the Vegetables

When you have browned all the beef (just get it brown on the outside, it will still be raw in the center), add more oil, if needed, heat it again and add the onions, carrots and garlic. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Mix to combine and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.

If you want the carrots to have a more distinct texture and not be very soft, sauté the onions separately first and add the carrots last, sautéing for only 2 minutes at the end.

Return the beef to the Instant Pot and season with more salt, ground black pepper, paprika, cumin and other dry herbs or seasoning blends that you like.

Spices to Use For Plov

Cumin, salt, ground black pepper and bay leaves are the most widely used for Plov. I also add paprika and other dry herb seasoning that I simply like the taste of – Onion Salt from Trader Joe’s and a chicken seasoning mix, which has lots of delicious spices, such as garlic, onion, sea salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, black pepper, fennel, coriander and bay leaf. You can use any combination of herbs and spices that you like. You can also use coriander and barberries, more traditional spices used with Plov.

Braising the Beef and Vegetables

As I mentioned earlier, if you use chicken thighs or pork, you do not need to braise the meat and vegetables. Skip this part and just proceed with adding the rice. Beef needs a bit of time to braise to become tender, so this part is very important. If you use a tougher cut of beef, like beef chuck, cook the meat longer, about 45-60 minutes, depending on how large you cut the meat and how tough it is.
Pour in about 2 1/2 cups of water, enough to just cover the meat and vegetables. Add the bay leaf. Cover the Instant Pot with the lid. Turn the valve to “Sealing”.

Turn on the “Manual” mode, high pressure, for 15 minutes.

Use the quick release option to release the pressure and open the Instant Pot.

Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Cooking the Rice

Add the rice, spreading it out on top of the meat and vegetables, being careful not to mix it in too much, leaving it on the top layer.

Pour in another 2 1/2 cups of hot water on top of the rice, once again being careful not to disturb the rice too much. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Cover the Instant Pot again and turn the valve to “Sealing”.

Turn on the “Manual” mode, High Pressure, for 3 minutes.

When the Instant Pot turns off, let it stand for 3-5 minutes and then use the Quick Release option to release the pressure and open the Instant Pot.

Use a fork to fluff up the rice and mix the rice with the beef and vegetables. 

Instant Pot Beef and Rice Pilaf

Plov is a favorite beef and rice meal in the Russian cuisine. The tender beef, prepared with carrots, onions, along with a collection of spices, flavors the rice that cooks perfectly in the pressure cooker and cooks it in a fraction of the time.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8
Author: Olga's Flavor Factory

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs top sirloin beef cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2-3 Tablespoons oil avocado, sunflower, grape seed, light olive oil, etc.
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 3 carrots cut into julienne
  • 2-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons dry herb mixture optional
  • 3 cups long grain white rice

Instructions

  • Turn on the Instant Pot. Using the “Saute” function on the Instant Pot, adjust the heat to “More”. Add the oil and when the oil is hot, brown the beef in batches, until golden brown on both sides.
  • Don't crowd the beef. If you add too much beef, it will begin to steam and you won't get a sear on the meat. As you brown on batch of meat, remove it from the Instant Pot and set it aside in another bowl. If the bottom of the Instant Pot starts to burn, pour in a bit of water, scrape out the burned bit, pour out the water, wipe out the inner chamber and start again.
  • When you start a new batch of beef browning in the Instant Pot, add a bit more oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot, and heat it up until the oil is shimmering again before adding the beef. This should happen very quickly.
  • When you have browned all the beef (just get it brown on the outside, it will still be raw in the center), add more oil, if needed, heat it again and add the onions, carrots and garlic. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • Mix to combine and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
  • Return the beef to the Instant Pot and season with more salt, ground black pepper, paprika, cumin and other dry herbs or seasoning blends that you like.
  • Pour in about 2 1/2 cups of water, enough to just cover the meat and vegetables. Add the bay leaf. Cover the Instant Pot with the lid. Turn the valve to “Sealing”.
  • Turn on the “Manual” mode, high pressure, for 15 minutes.
  • Use the quick release option to release the pressure and open the Instant Pot.
  • Remove the bay leaf and discard.
  • Add the rice, spreading it out on top of the meat and vegetables, being careful not to mix it in too much, leaving it on the top layer.
  • Pour in another 2 1/2 cups of hot water on top of the rice, once again being careful not to disturb the rice too much. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Cover the Instant Pot again and turn the valve to "Sealing".
  • Turn on the "Manual" mode, High Pressure, for 3 minutes. When the Instant Pot turns off, let it stand for 3-5 minutes and then use the Quick Release option to release the pressure and open the Instant Pot. Use a fork to fluff up the rice and mix the rice with the beef and vegetables.

Notes

This recipe is for a large batch of Plov. Feel free to halve the recipe; keep the cooking times the same.

12 Comments

  • Yuliya

    I have tried several different insta pot plov recipes and this one is far my favorite! I took your advice and cooked the chuck roast longer and it was mouth watering! Thanks again for another delicious recipe!

  • Anna

    Looks delicious, I want to make this soon. I have stew meat, how long do you think I should cook it for it to be super tender ? Thank you I’m advance 🙂

    • olgak7

      It depends on what cut of meat it is, Anna.
      Stew meat is not always the same cut. I would suggest trying to cook it for 45 minutes up to 70 minutes. Try the meat after 45 minutes, if it’s still not soft enough, cook it a little bit longer, etc.

  • Anna

    Hello! I just made this and it was very good and easy! Loved it! But I did have one issue, (I halved the recipe because it is just my husband and me) but when the plov was done cooking, there was still a lot of water, like a soup. I left my house for 30 mins and kept the IP on warm and when I came back all the water was absorbed, which was great but it made the rice extra mushy. We still enjoyed but any tips? besides using less water 🙂 Thank you!

    • olgak7

      Hi Anna,
      I’m sorry to hear that.
      I often halve the recipe myself and have never had that issue before.
      Maybe reduce the amount of water that you used next time? It’s also possible that the meat that you used and vegetables did not absorb as much as mine did, which resulted in you having more water than necessary. Based on the step by step pictures that I had in the recipe, was the amount of water that you used the same as when you were making your Plov? What I mean is, did the water cover the meat and vegetables and then the rice the same as when you were making the recipe, or did it seem like there was more water when you were cooking than what was pictured in the step by step recipe instructions?

  • Alina

    Hi Olga!

    I’m so excited to try this recipe! I have used another recipe that I found online for plov in an instant pot and I kept getting the burn message and it came out all mushy at the end, it was bad I was so bummed out. So I know you said you use basmati or jasmine rice, but which do you prefer for this recipe? Also what brand of rice do you use? I really want to get it right this time, thanks!

  • Tatyana S.

    This is the best instant pot plov recipe that I have tried, thank u for the helpful instructions, I would like more Instant pot pressure cooker recipes if u have any more 😊
    Keep up the good work👍👌

  • Yuliya Peterson

    Hi Olga! If I am planning to use chicken thighs instead do I still need to keep the rice on the top layer or it is okay to incorporate everything together like you would when you make chicken plov on the stove top?

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