Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Russia: Plov (Lamb and Rice Pilaf)

"Plov" is the Russian version of pilaf/risotto. There are countless different versions to be found: from savory to sweet, with or without meat, with fruit..... We greatly enjoyed this dish. The flavor of the lamb combined the tart fruitiness of the prunes was delicious. This is another recipe that will be linked to this month's Cook Around the Globe event. The original recipe called for lamb fillet, which is not easy to find here. I used bone-in shoulder chops instead. I cut them into cubes and left the bones in the pan while cooking to get some extra flavor. I had neither lamb nor vegetable stock at hand, so I used chicken stock instead.

Six months ago: French Toast


50 g raisins
120 g dried prunes
1 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
450 g lean lamb meat (e.g. fillet, shoulder chops or similar), cut into 3/4 inch cubes
220 g ground lamb
2 garlic cloves, smashed
600 ml lamb or vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
350 g long grain rice
1-2 pinches of saffron
freshly ground pepper

Place raisins, prunes, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Cover with water and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and coarsely chop prunes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large enough pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add lamb meat, ground lamb, and garlic. Brown on all sides, stirring often, about 5 minutes, breaking up minced lamb with a spoon. Add 150 ml broth, cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Skim off access fat. Add remaining broth, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, add rice and saffron. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, almost all liquid is absorbed. Stir in raisins and prunes, season with salt and pepper. Mix well and heat through.

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