Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mixed Meat Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds

the help of recipes like this one, leftovers can indeed be exciting!  Versatility is always great in the kitchen, and this dish from Nigella Lawson is a very versatile recipe that could be different every single time that you make it.  Often, I have left-over beef or chicken from the previous night, and this is the perfect way to incorporate those leftovers and give them new life. You can add any sort of meat that you have on-hand to this dish...sliced steak, chopped chicken, shredded beef, lamb, many possibilities!

The flavors of this dish are interesting and wonderful with the addition of pomegranate seeds.  I haven't really added them to dishes very much in the past, but I'm excited to find new ways to use them now.  The simplicity of this meal also makes it a flash to put together on a busy weeknight when the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen.

A distinct nuttiness is added by the toasted almonds, which helps to round out the flavors, and the parsley and cilantro add a freshness to the palate that dried herbs just can't compete with.

Give this robust and satisfying meal a try...You'll love it!

Bon Appetit!

Mixed Meat Pilaf

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion -- finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/4 cups basmati rice, or a mixture of brown basmati, red Camargue, and wild rice
2 cups chicken broth (can, carton or cube), preferably organic
2 cups cold shredded meat
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds, or a mixture
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, to serve (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, to serve (optional)
2-3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, to serve (optional)


Warm the oil in a heavy-based saucepan which comes with a lid, then add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes over a lowish heat, stirring frequently, before adding the cumin and coriander seeds and thyme, and cooking, as before, until the onion is soft;  this should be about another 5 minutes, giving 10 minutes cooking time in total.

Add the rice and push it about in the oily, spiced onion with a wooden spoon or rigid spatula until it is slicked and glossy. Heat the broth until almost boiling, then pour the hot broth into the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan firmly with a lid and cook over the lowest heat possible for 15 minutes for regular basmati rice, or up to 40 minutes for the 3-way rice mix. 

Add the shredded meat and fork it all through, then replace the lid and leave it all to cook for another 5 minutes to let the meat heat through and the rice finish cooking. 

Check that the meat is piping hot and the rice is tender, season to taste, then take off the heat and fork through most of the pine nuts, herbs, and pomegranate seeds (if using, or tip into a dish before doing this), and decorate each bowl of pilaf with the remaining bits.

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mjskit said...

I love this pilaf! What a great use of leftover meat and I love the addition of the pomegranate seeds. YUM!

Celeste said...

Thanks mjskit! :)