Gluten Free Rice Pilaf with Beef Ribs
On the Old Continent we call this dish plov. The closest translation is rice pilaf, so be it. If you ever travel to Uzbekistan, Georgia, and other regions around them, you will definitely be served plov. The main ingredients in this dish are obviously rice and a meat of choice. Traditionally, in Uzbekistan, it was always lamb, but now there are many variations. My family loves organic beef, so I make my pilaf with that.
I like this dish because it is not very complicated to make, preparation doesn’t take too much time, and my family love it. While it is gluten-free, it does contain quite a bit of fat, so Nutrisystem wouldn’t be happy about it. My way around is portion control – this meal is very filling, so there is no reason to serve a huge pile of it and overeat.
Besides beef ribs, you can use pork ribs, lamb ribs, or stew meat of any kind. I wouldn’t use chicken because it would make this pilaf a bit too dry, but I am sure there are recipes for that too. Everything else goes for me. The pilaf is made in a big batch and tastes great the next day, some say it’s even better the next day, heated up and crisped on a skillet and served with a pickle. You have to have a pickle with it!
|Organic beef ribs, about 3 pounds, cut individually|
|1 large or 2 smaller organic onions|
|5-7 organic carrots|
|½ of standard pack of organic white or brown rice, about 1 pound|
|2 small cans of organic tomato sauce|
|3 bay leaves|
|Seasoning, salt and pepper|
|4 table spoons of butter|
|3-4 cups of boiling water|
|1 head of garlic|
|Organic olive oil|
First of all, start with the meat. If the ribs are not separated, cut them.
I like to slice them when they are still a bit frozen to make the meat less slippery. Wash separated ribs and pat them dry.
Place them on a hot skillet with some olive oil, sprinkle seasoning over the ribs, and close the lid.
Cook them a good while and then flip them on the other side, which should also be seasoned.
While your meat is cooking, chop the onions and put them on a smaller skillet with 2 table spoons of butter.
Some people cook onions and meat together, but I like mine separate without mixing the flavors.
Prepare a Dutch over or a large glass cooking dish.
While the meat and onions continue to cook, peel carrots and grate them.
By now your meat should be browned on both sides and ready to be placed on the bottom of the Dutch oven or glass dish.
When you pour the meat, don’t forget to pour the juices and melted fat into the dish as well.
Preheat your oven to 400 and boil a tea kettle of water.
Put cooked onions over the meat and proceed to cook carrots on the same pan that onions were cooked with a little bit of olive oil or butter until carrots are tender. Place carrots evenly over the meat and onions.
Next step is to evenly pour organic tomato sauce all over the meat, onions, and carrots.
Then sprinkle uncooked washed rice on top of tomato sauce, also as evenly as you can.
Sprinkle some seasoning over the rice, randomly place 3 bay leaves and put the cut on the bottom garlic head in the middle of the pilaf.
I also place a few pieces of butter on top of rice, but it’s not mandatory.
Finally, pour the boiling water all over it carefully. The water should cover the entire dish contents. Be careful to not overdo it as it can spill over on your way to the oven.
Place the pilaf dish on the middle rack and don’t cover it with anything. Cook for 1 hour. After cooking for about 30 minutes, check on it periodically and gently stir the top layer of rice. Take it out after 1 hour and mix everything together, fluff the rice. If you still see lots of water, you can cook the dish a few minutes longer.
You don’t want it to get too dry, but don’t serve it soggy either. Voila – your pilaf is ready for serving! The only thing missing is a pickle!