Rice & Beef Pilaf

INGREDIENTS
  • 1½ cups medium or large grain rice
  • Olive oil
  • Mazola oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or lean ground lamb
  • 1¾ tsp allspice, divided
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 small “key” limes, sliced (or 1 lemon)
  • ¾ tsp ground cloves, divided
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • ⅓-1/2 cup pine nuts or cashews toasted
  • ⅓-1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • ½ cup dark raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses  
  • 2 1/2 cup Chicken Broth (I use homemade broth, but you can use chicken bouillon cubes )
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Soak the rice in cold water for 15 minutes or until you are easily able to break one grain of rice between your thumb and index fingers. When ready, drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy cooking pot. Toss chopped white onions in the oil on medium-high heat. Add the ground beef or lamb and cook briefly; then season the meat mixture with 1¼ tsp allspice, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp ground cloves, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, salt and pepper. Toss together to combine, and cook until the meat is fully browned (8-10 minutes).
  3. Drain from fat, leaving the meat in the same pot.
  4. Top the meat with the rice. Season the rice with a little salt and the remainder of the allspice, ground cloves and cinnamon & molasses. Add 2½ cups of Chicken Broth and 1 tbsp of mazola to cover the rice. 
  5. Squeeze in key limes and then toss them as is into the pot to release an aromatic flavor ( or 1 lemon ) 
  6. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Let boil until the liquid has significantly reduced (see video on insta!).
  7. Now turn the heat to low and cover; let cook for 20 minutes or until moisture has completely been absorbed; and the rice is no longer hard nor sticky. Remove from heat.
  8. Place a large serving platter on the opening of the rice pot. Carefully flip the pot contents onto the platter so that the meat layer now tops the rice (see pictures on fb or insta!).
  9. Garnish with parsley, toasted pine nuts, almonds and raisins. You can also add the chicken you used to make the homemade broth by removing skin and bones, seasoning with salt and pepper + lightly sauteing skillet top. yum!

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