This Uzbek Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf Recipe) is just like traditional rice pilaf, but better! Tender beef, rice, spices, and veggies are cooked together in one pot. It’s a comforting and delicious meal that’s perfect for feeding a crowd!Jump to Recipe
Uzbek beef plov recipe
If you want to make your entire family happy, then you have to serve them this Uzbek Beef Plov! Similar to a traditional rice pilaf, this beef pilaf recipe is made with seared beef, vegetables, garlic, and spices to take the flavors to new and delicious levels. The best part is it’s cooked all together in one big pot.
You don’t even need any complicated ingredients to make meat pilaf at home! All you need is beef chuck (or sirloin or lamb – your choice!), medium-grain rice, a few veggies, and simple spices. It’s delicious with pickled vegetables on top and a scoop of radicchio Caesar salad on the side.
Most Uzbek, Russian, and Ukrainian families have their own version of a beef plov recipe and my family is no different! While this version was inspired by my brother-in-law’s recipe, I added a few of my own touches to make it extra special. I know you and your family will love it as much as mine!
What is beef plov?
Beef plov is a one-pot Uzbek dish made with rice, beef, carrots, onions, garlic, and spices. While it’s a traditional Uzbek dish, it’s also popular among Russian and Ukrainian families. It’s a total comfort food designed to feed a lot of people, making it the perfect family-friendly recipe!
What’s the best rice for plov?
I prefer using Calrose medium-grain rice for this plov. Some recipes call for basmati or jasmine too, cooking times on that rice will vary though.
Beef rice pilaf ingredients
- Beef – Beef chuck, sirloin, or short ribs, lamb work the best. The meat is cut into 1 inch pieces and seared before it’s cooked with the veggies and rice in a dutch oven. Each piece becomes so tender and juicy in the end.
- Rice – A medium grain rice is best for this pilaf recipe. I like to use Calrose rice.
- Vegetables – Carrots and onions are sauteed along with the meat while a full head of garlic is tucked into and cooked with the rice.
- Spices – All you need is cumin, turmeric, and salt.
How to make Uzbek beef plov
This one-pot recipe makes plenty for everyone! Once the beef is tender and the rice is cooked, you can dig into the easy Uzbek plov:
- Rinse the rice.
Add the rice to a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until the water is coming out clear. Once that’s done, place the rice in a bowl with water.
- Sear the beef.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat and add the seasoned beef. Sear until all sides are brown.
- Saute the vegetables and spices.
Turn down the heat, then add the onions and cook until they’re soft. Stir in the carrots and spices. Pour the water into the pot and add salt. Add a lid on top of the pot and simmer.
- Cook the rice.
Pour the rice into the pot and tuck the garlic head in the center. Cover the pot with the lid and cook. Don’t stir or fluff the rice until you think it’s ready to eat.
- Serve and enjoy!
Once it’s ready, take the head of garlic out of the pilaf and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir everything together, then serve!
Tips and tricks
- It’s crucial to rinse the rice first! This will remove all of the starch so you don’t end up with a gummy pilaf.
- Always preheat your dutch oven or pot first so the meat can cook and tenderize evenly. If you add the meat before the oil and pot are hot, all of the delicious juices will seep out and dry out the meat.
- Cook the rice in heavily salted water so it absorbs as much flavor as possible.
- DO NOT stir or fluff the pilaf as it cooks.
- Beef pilaf is extra delicious served with pickles and pickled vegetables (like radishes and red onions)!
Tools for Uzbek Beef Plov Recipe
Storing and freezing leftovers
To store, keep the leftover pilaf in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze, place the leftovers in a freezer-safe bag or sealed container. It freezes well for up to 3 months.
To reheat, add the leftover beef pilaf to a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. But popping it in the microwave is ok too.
More one pot dinner recipes
- Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo
- Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi
- Instant Pot Cheeseburger Soup
- Greek Chicken Thighs with Potatoes
More popular Russian and Ukrainian family recipes
- Classic Ukrainian Red Borscht (Beet Soup)
- Easy Olivier Salad
- Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes
- Easy Chebureki with Beef and Pork
- Russian Herring Under Fur Coat Salad
Did you try this Uzbek Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf Recipe)? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below and giving this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to take a picture tag me on Instagram or use #lenaskitchenblog to be featured in my stories! I love seeing what you come up with!
Uzbek Beef Plov (Beef Rice Pilaf Recipe)
- ¾ cups avocado oil or canola oil
- 3 lbs beef chuck or use beef sirloin or lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 6 large carrots peeled and cut into thicker matchsticks
- 2 ½ tablespoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt to taste
- 6 cups hot water
- 3 cups medium grain rice Calrose rice is what I use, rinsed
- 1 head garlic keep whole, peel back the layer until you have one-two layers
- Before you do anything, rinse the rice until the water is clear. Then add water into the bowl and let it sit while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Prepare the carrots by cutting them on an angle and then into thicker matchsticks, about ½ inch thick.
- Cut the onions into a small dice.
- Cut the beef chuck and cut into 1″ pieces. Pat it dry with a paper towel (this will help with the browning of the meat). Season with salt on all sides and set aside.
- Preheat a large heavy-bottomed 6-quart or larger dutch oven to high heat. Once it's hot, add in your oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the cubed meat and sear for 5-7 min over high heat until meat is browned, stirring every minute or so so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot. Note: it's so important to preheat the dutch oven first for the meat to brown over high heat, otherwise it will release its juices and dry out the meat.
- Turn down the heat to medium, add in the onions and saute for 3-5 minutes, until they become translucent.
- Add in the carrots and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the spices and salt, mix well to combine.
- Add 6 cups of hot water. Note: The goal is for the water to be a bit saltier than you think you need, the rice will absorb a lot of the salt and will help to season it. This is when you taste and see if you’d like any additional seasoning.
- Bring back to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and let the meat and veggies cook for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the lid, add in the rice, making sure to spread it evenly. Note: DO NOT stir the pilaf.
- Add a whole garlic head into the rice, make sure to tuck it in. Note: Peel back most of the layers until you only have 1-2 layers left. Make sure to clean off any of the dirt on the bottom and you can cut off the top a bit or leave it whole. You can clean the garlic to peel easier underwater.
- Cover with the lid, turn the heat to low, and cook covered for 35-45. You can open and check the rice at 35 minutes, but do not fluff the rice until you are ready to eat. If the rice still needs a few minutes, cover and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Once pilaf is done, remove from heat, remove the head of garlic and set aside, and gently fluff the rice and mix it in with the veggies and meat. Serve with pickled veggies and cooked garlic cloves. You can also add a side salad too.