Plov or pilaf is a popular one-pot rice dish that is of Uzbek origin and adapted by the Russians. This is so good that it’s in my top 5 favorite Russian foods. Being a Filipino married to a Russian, I’m introduced to Russian cooking only these last couple years and boy oh boy I find most of them delectable! I first tried plov at my sister-in-law’s kid’s birthday party and that was love at first bite. I ate more plov than anything else at that time that I was secretly wondering what the other guests were thinking, as hubby went several times to refill my plate at the buffet table. But well, I was also pregnant with my first child so I had a reasonable excuse of eating for two 😀 .
Anyway, plov can be made with any meat (to my knowledge). I tried it with pork, beef, chicken, lamb, and even rabbit meat and they’re equally delish. My parents-in-law who visit our house on most Sundays after church often bring plov which I always look forward to. Last summer, I had the chance of watching one of my husband’s buddies make plov for a large company in our backyard using a kazan (a large cooking pot resembling wok or kawali in traditional Philippine cookware). After that, I learned how to make a small-scale version in my own kitchen using similar spices and less oil (his cooking was good but too greasy). I love making this plov recipe during the weekend when I have more time and just reheat it in the days to follow. It’s an instant hit with my kids who are rice lovers.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Ingredients:2 lbs beef, fat trimmed and cut into chunks
½ cup cooking oil (I use canola or olive oil)
2 medium onions
4 medium carrots
2 ½ tsp salt (for meat) & 1 tsp for rice
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 dry bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
2 heads of garlic
3 cups basmati rice
3 cups hot water for cooking the meat
4 cups hot water to cook the rice
Tools You’ll Need:
Large cooking pot/dutch oven
1. Peel and chop onions.
2. Peel and julienne carrots.
3. Heat oil on large cooking pot. Wait till oil gets very hot (starts smoking) and throw in beef and brown them, about 10 minutes.
4. Add onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
5. Throw in carrots and sauté for another 2 minutes.
6. Season with 2 ½ tsp salt, ground black pepper, cumin, paprika, and coriander.
7. Add water and bay leaves. then stir. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium low. Simmer meat for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until meat is tender.
8. While braising beef, prep the rice. Rinse rice in cold water until water runs clear. This removes most of the starch from the grains preventing them from sticking to each other, which is an important part of cooking plov. Set aside.
9. Cut off the top end of 2 garlic heads and set aside.
10. When the meat has softened, spread the rice evenly on top of the meat. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Submerge the garlic and add 4 cups of water into the pot. Do not stir yet.
11. Turn heat high just to boil then turn it down again to low. Simmer the pot uncovered until most of the water has dried up. Poke holes into the surface using the end of a cooking spoon. Cover pot and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the rice is thoroughly cooked (soft but not mushy).
12. Remove garlic and bay leaves from pot then mix meat and rice together and serve.