Recipe: Plov

This is the best rice dish ever. David actually makes this one - he learned to make it from the wife of one of his close friends in Ukraine. It's a meal in and of itself. It's very important to follow the instructions EXACTLY for it to turn out right. The times are long, but it's actually not a work-intensive recipe. And wow, is it delicious.

1 lb. pork, cubed
1 lb. beef, cubed
3/4 cup sunflower or vegetable oil (sunflower is what most Ukrainians use)
3 or 4 large carrots, cut into small pieces (do not grate!)
3 or 4 large onions, diced
3 cups rice
1 or 2 heads of garlic (8-10 cloves), peeled and cleaned
3 bay leaves
8 black pepper kernels

Pour oil into a large cast iron pot or Dutch oven (must be stovetop and oven safe). Heat on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Drop the cubed meat into the hot oil and brown it well. Salt heavily. Layer the onions on top of the meat, then the carrots on top of the onions. Place the lid on top of the pot and slow cook on low for 1 hour. While the meat and veggies cook, soak the rice in cold water for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain. When the meat and vegetables have cooked, drop in the pepper kernels and stir well, then add the rice - do not stir after adding the rice. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Start a teapot full of water to boil. Meanwhile, push garlic cloves into the rice. Pour in boiling water until it covers the rice. Cover and put in preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes, poke bay leaves into mixture, then cook for 20 more minutes.

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