In the Central Asian regions around Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan no celebration would be complete without a monster size helping of Plov. This meat pilaf dish represents everything we love about holiday food – simple, versatile, and easily scaled to feed ten or a hundred. Our recipe captures the unique flavors of the region – paprika, cumin, turmeric, and coriander – while adding a little holiday flair with some dried fruits and nuts.
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 55 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 lbs. beef
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup dried apricots
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups basmati rice
5 cups water divided
1 large garlic head
1. Prepare the ingredients. Cube beef into 1/2 – 3/4” pieces. Chop the onion. Peel and julienne or grate the carrot. Dice the apricot. Rinse rice until the water runs clear, set aside. Rinse the garlic and cut the top off garlic to expose the cloves.
2. In a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot with a lid, heat the oil over high heat. When it is hot, add the beef. Sear on all sides, about 3-5 minutes. Next, reduce heat to medium-high and add the onion. Cook until soft, another 2-3 minutes. Add the carrot. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add the almonds, currants, apricots, and spices. Stir to combine.
3. Add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Cover meat and veggies with rice. Pour 4 cups hot water over the rice. Use the back of the spoon to disperse the water so it doesn’t disturb the rice. Bring to a boil and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Do not stir.
5. Once the liquid is absorbed turn the heat to low. Gently push the garlic into the center of the pot, cut side down. Using the handle of the spoon, poke several holes in the rice for steam vents. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
6. Remove and discard the garlic. Gently stir everything together. Serve.