Rice pilaf is one of these dishes that my grandmother and my mom used to make very often when I was growing up. The rice pilaf in Romania is either cooked on the stove or baked in the oven, which I like the best. The traditional main ingredient in the pilaf is the chicken, but people made it with any kind of meat they have available.
My version of pilaf this time has pork meat and few vegetables, like some onion, garlic, frozen peas, peppers and mushrooms. The combination of vegetables and meat gives the rice a beautiful flavor. And the smell in the kitchen….oh my…
So, let me show you how I made it.
I sautéed the meat on the stove with a little bit of oil.
After the meat cooked on both sides, I removed it from the pan and cut it in cubes. Then, I chopped the vegetables. Peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms. I added them to the pan where the meat was cooked.
I added the frozen peas.
When everything was translucent and semi-cooked, I added the meat and the rice and transferred everything to a baking pan. I used this clay baking pan with a lid.
A version of this pan you can find here : Black Casserole Clay Pot, or you can use a cast iron Dutch oven. In case you do not have any of these, you can use a baking pan and cover it with aluminum foil.
I added water to cover the rest of the ingredients and the spices.
I covered it and place it in the oven at 350F for about an hour.
Tip: Check the rice half way to see if it is cooked. If the liquid is absorbed, uncover the pot and let it bake for another 10 minutes to get a light crust on top.
Serve warm. It goes really well with pickled vegetables or a simple salad.
- 1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 8 oz chopped mushrooms your choice
- 8 oz colored bell peppers(green yellow, red etc)
- 8 oz frozen peas
- 1-2 Tbsps vegetable oil
- 16 oz pork meat
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp of coriander powder
- ½ tsp of dried parsley
- ½ tsp of dried dill
- ½ tsp of cinnamon
- ½ tsp of nutmeg
- ½ tsp of ginger powder
- ½ tsp of sweet paprika
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a frying pan, on the stove, place the meat and saute it on both sides.
- While the meat is cooking, chop all your vegetables.
- Remove the meat from the pan and add the vegetables. Saute them for few minutes until translucent.
- Add the peas and stir. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Cut the meat in small bites.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the meat to the vegetables.
- Add the uncooked rice to the pan and mix it with the meat and vegetables.
- Place everything in a clay baking pot with a lid or a cast iron Dutch oven.
- Pour 2 cups water or more to cover all the ingredients.
- Add salt, pepper and the rest of the spices. Stir to mix.
- Cover the pot and place it in the oven at 350F for about an hour.
- When the liquid is absorbed completely and the rice is cooked, remove the lid and let the pilaf bake for 8-10 minutes to get a thin crust on top.
- Serve warm with pickled vegetables or a salad.