Plov is a rice pilaf with meat, carrots, onions and spices, tender chunks of meat and fluffy rice with lots of aromatic flavors.
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs beef chuck (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1/4–1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 onions (chopped)
- 3–4 carrots (peeled and julienned into matchsticks, or shredded)
- 1 1/2–1 3/4 cups water (for braising)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2–4 dry bay leaves
- 1–2 teaspoons cumin
- 1–2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 cups long grain rice
- 1 garlic head
- 4 cups water (hot, when cooking the rice)
- Cut the beef, about 1 1/2 lbs, into 3/4-1/2 inch chunks. Blot the meat dry using a paper towel.
- Using a dutch oven or a large pot, heat about 1/4-1/3 cup of oil over high heat until it’s smoking hot. You should have enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the dutch oven.
- Add the meat to the oil, and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the meat has a deep golden brown color.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the 2 chopped onions to the dutch oven. Cook for 5-7 minutes more, until the onions are tender and slightly golden.
- Add the shredded carrots, stir to combine and season with salt, pepper, dry bay leaf, paprika and cumin. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the carrots also become tender. Instead of shredding the carrots, you can julienne the carrots or cut them into sticks, as thick or thin as you like.
- Cover the beef, onions and carrots with about 1 1/2 -1 3/4 cups of water, enough to barely cover them. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 45 minutes – 1 hour, until the beef is tender.
- Meanwhile, if you want an extra precaution, rinse the rice in water, until the water runs clear.
- When I use basmati rice, it cooks a little bit quicker than regular long grain white rice. If you use the plain long grain rice, cover it with boiling water and let it stand it in while the beef, onions and carrots are simmering. This will help to ensure that the rice cooks all the way through. I don’t rinse basmati rice or steep it in hot water either.
- When the beef is tender, drain the water from the rice and place the rice on top of the the beef, onions and carrots. DON’T mix them together.
- Spread the rice out evenly, and pour in about 4 cups of hot, or boiling water. It should cover the rice by about an 1 -1 1/2 inches. Season with salt. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, high heat and keep cooking it, uncovered, until most of the water is absorbed.
- Insert a whole garlic head into the rice, make a few holes in the rice, to help the water cook out faster, (I use the handle of a long wooden spoon to create the holes), cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10-15 minutes, just until the rice is cooked through.
- At this point, take out the roasted garlic and mix the whole dish, to incorporate the beef, onion, and carrots with the rice. You can press some of the roasted garlic through a garlic press and add it to the rice, or used the roasted garlic in flavored butters, garlic bread, etc.
- Plov freezes very well too, so you can make a large batch and freeze the extra portions. To reheat, thaw the Plov, and heat it up, either in the microwave or in a skillet. I like adding a little bit of grated cheese to leftover Plov when I’m reheating it in a skillet. The cheese melts, and becomes a little crisp in some places and adds creaminess and crispness to the dish.