Beef Plov (Beef Pilaf) is a delicious pilaf layered with beef, carrots, and spices. Originally an Uzbek dish but cooked and enjoyed throughout Central Asia.
Two weeks ago, our family took a short vacation to New York City. It was our first visit to the Big Apple and we were excited at the thought of seeing all those iconic places in person. It rained a little that first evening we were there but we had plenty of sunshine for the rest of our visit.
We purchased the New York Explorer Pass for three attractions and a 7-day unlimited subway pass for each person. Both passes worked out nicely as we were able to save a little for a family of four. We stayed in a hotel at Time Square and so it was very convenient. We were able to walk or take the subway to all the attractions we had planned to see.
Central Park and Tiffany’s
On the day we arrived, we headed to Central Park and Tiffany’s flagship store on 5th Avenue. We did not spend much time at the park but the view from there was great. Walking into Tiffany & Co one can’t help but compare it with the scene from the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 😉 I was very pleasantly surprised at how friendly the people at the store were. They ushered the many visitors in without any hesitation. The lady who was stationed close to the Tiffany Diamond even chatted with me and gave me a brief history of Tiffany & Co. It was a lovely visit. 🙂
That evening we enjoyed a seafood dinner while watching the neon displays in Time Square. I will try and recreate the dish I ate in another post, so stay tuned.
Sights and Sounds of New York
We spend the next 3 days enjoying the sights and sounds of New York.
Food Glorious Food
Of course we enjoyed the food too.
Uzbeki Restaurant at the Diamond District
On our last evening in New York, we wanted to eat something different. Something we would not find back here in Minnesota. Earlier in the day we walked past the Diamond District and someone from Taam Tov, a no-frills kosher Uzbeki restaurant was handing out menus. The menu looked interesting and the prices reasonable. We decided to give it a try.
We asked our server for recommendations and came up with this spread of dishes, a dessert, and a pot of sweet tea. The presentation was simple but the food was delicious. We especially enjoyed the Uzbek Pilaf, their most popular dish. We were fortunate to have had the last order of the day before it ran out as there was a party occupying three long tables not far from where we sat.
Adaptations in My Version of This Beef Plov (Beef Pilaf)
Upon our return home, I search the web for Uzbek pilaf and found several recipes. The author of this particular recipe mentioned in the comments that he had eaten the real deal in an Uzbek restaurant in Manhattan. As such, I decided to adapt his recipe but used beef instead of lamb. I also added some saffron as indicated in the Taam Tov menu.
Similar Tools Used in Making This Beef Plov (Beef Pilaf)
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- 3 tbsp vegetable oil **
- 1 lb chuck roast (or stewing beef), trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes (450g)
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ tsp black peppercorns (crushed)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 cup water for braising meat (240ml)
- Salt to taste
- 4 medium carrots (peeled and cut into 2 inch strips)
- 2 cups basmati rice (rinsed and drained) (400g)
- ¼ tsp saffron
- 2½ cups hot water (for cooking rice) (600ml)
- Heat vegetable oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Sear beef for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Push beef aside. Reduce heat to medium. Saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
- Add black peppercorns, cumin seeds, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Stir to coat meat with spices.
- Pour in 1 cup (240ml) water. Cover and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove cover. Season with a little salt. Add carrots, basmati rice, and saffron.
- Pour in 2½ cups (600ml) hot water. Add some salt. Cover and bring in to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
- Reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
- Turn off stove and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
My Beef Plov (Beef Pilaf) was a little drier and fluffier than the one at the restaurant because I used basmati rice and perhaps a tad less oil. I will probably add a tablespoon more oil the next time I cook this dish. Otherwise, I am quite happy with the result and will definitely cook it again.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎