Beef Pilaf

The Pilaf is one of that vast range of dishes that involve rice boiled in a savory liquid and is thus in the same class of phenomena as paella, jambalaya and risottos. The word pilaf is of Persian origin, and this one is typically south-west Asian in its use of lamb, cinnamon, allspice, dried fruits and nuts. Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients. It is actually very simple.

 

Ingredients.

½ teaspoon cinnamon.

½ teaspoon allspice.

½ teaspoon ground ginger.

¼ teaspoon white pepper.

Salt to taste.

250g beef mince.

1 cup jasmine rice.

½ cup sultanas.

½ cup chopped nuts [e.g. cashews, pistachios].

½ cup chopped dried fruit [e.g. apricots, cherries, cranberries etc].

2 tablespoons tomato paste.

2 cups vegetable stock or water.

¼ cup olive oil.

2 cups fresh herbs, [e.g. spring onion, celery leaves, mint, coriander, parsley] finely chopped.

 

Preparation.

Mix the spices and the salt together and stir into the meat, mixing well. Set aside. Mix the rice, nuts, sultanas, chopped dried fruit, tomato paste and stock [or water] in a bowl, stir well to combine, and set aside. Leave sitting for a couple of hours to allow the sultanas to plump up. Chop and mix the herbs, place in a bowl and set aside.

 

Method.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan on a high flame and cook the meat, stirring well until fully browned. Add the rice mixture, bring to the boil, stirring to mix thoroughly, then reduce heat to a bare simmer and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook for eighteen minutes then remove from the heat, still covered, and allow to sit for a further ten minutes; timing is critical, so use a timer.

Fluff up the rice, adding the mixed herbs, and serve on hot plates with a yoghurt nut mixture on the side.

 

Serves: 2.

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