Slow-Simmered Beef and Carrots with Uzbeki-Style Pilaf

This national dish of Uzbekistan is mild and deliciously spiced. The garlic is cooked as a whole head and becomes buttery soft. It’s meant to be shared and squeezed from the peel to eat with the pilaf. If you’re a garlic fan, use two heads of garlic instead of one.
Yield 6 Servings Prep. Time 15 min Cooking Time 150 min Total Time 165 min


Here are the following ingredients:

  • 3 cups (750 mL) medium-grain rice, such as jasmine
  • 1½ lb (750 g) Beef Rib Finger Meat
  • 2½ tsp (12 mL) salt, divided
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil, divided
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) finely diced onion
  • 2 cups (500 mL) batons (1½-inch/4 cm long) carrots
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) fresh ground pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic, papery outer skin removed

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions:

  1. Place rice in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Swish it around with your hand 3 to 4 times then pour off the water. Repeat 3 to 4 times or until the water runs clear. Cover again with cold water and let stand for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Drain through a sieve and reserve.

  2. Trim excess fat from the meat to your taste. Starting at the thicker end of each piece of meat, make a cut in between the meat and the fibrous silverskin, lifting the fat and silverskin away from the meat while you trim along the strip of meat. (Tip: Grip the silverskin with a paper towel to prevent slipping.). Discard the trim. Cut the meat crosswise into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.

  3. Season the beef all over with 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil over high heat in a large Dutch oven or deep enamelled cast-iron roaster. Add half the beef and, cook, turning, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) more oil and brown remaining beef. Transfer to plate.

  4. Reduce heat to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil to the pot. Cook onions, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until onions start to brown. Add cumin, paprika, coriander and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pot, stirring to coat with onions and spices. Add 2 cups (500 mL) water, bay leaves and head of garlic. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1½ hours or until beef is tender. Add a splash of water if the liquid is reducing too quickly and lower the heat. The liquid should be reduced by half at the end of cooking.

  5. Set garlic aside. Arrange carrots in a layer over beef mixture. Add rice to the pot, leveling it with the back of a spoon. Stir remaining 1½ tsp (7 mL) salt into 1 cup (250 mL) water; pour over rice. Add enough additional water (about 2 to 3 cups/500 to 750 mL) to cover the rice by ½ inch (1 cm). Place the whole head of garlic on the rice, root end pointing down. Bring to a boil over high heat.

  6. Reduce heat to medium and boil, uncovered, until the water reaches the level of the rice and bubbles are breaking over the surface of the rice. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the garlic. Fold rice and beef mixture gently to distribute the ingredients and transfer to a large serving dish. Discard bay leaves. Place the garlic head on top as a garnish. The garlic is meant to be shared and squeezed from the peel to eat with the pilaf.