“An Uzbek Specialty, for a Special Occasion” via The New York Times
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sesame-seed oil
2 large Spanish onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds beef round or chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, preferably Uzbeki, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup barberries
10 large carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch lengths, then shredded in a food processor or by hand
1 ½ pounds medium-grain rice, preferably Kokuho Rose extra fancy sushi
¼ teaspoon cayenne, plus more to taste
2 scallions, finely chopped for garnish
1 handful pomegranates seeds for garnish
- Combine oils in a 7-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes until the onions “taste of the oil” and are golden; remove to plate.
- Add the beef in 2 batches, cooking until browned on all sides, about 30 minutes. Return the beef and onions to the pot, then add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cumin seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, the black pepper, half the barberries and a handful of the carrots. Add enough water to cover, about 6 cups. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer over medium heat for 35 minutes.
- While the meat is cooking, wash the rice in a large sieve with cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in warm water for 15 minutes to open it up, drain.
Toss the remaining carrots with the remaining salt and the cayenne. Spoon the carrots in a layer over the meat, adding more water if needed to cover the carrots. Cover the pot and cook for just a few minutes.
- Without disturbing the carrots, spoon the rice gently on top. Cook, stirring the rice every 10 minutes and making sure not to touch the carrots until the water is evaporated and the rice cooked, about 30 minutes in all. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 10 more minutes.
- To serve, spoon the rice onto a large platter, then top with the carrots and meat. Sprinkle the scallions on top, along with the remaining cumin seeds, barberries and pomegranate seeds.