Uyghur beef polo
1/3 cup oil
1 lb beef with fat, cut into chunks 1″ or larger. Meat with bones is fine too.
5 good-sized carrots, shredded or julienned
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 cups soaked short grain (i.e. sushi) rice
salt, black pepper (optional)
boiling water to cover
Shred carrots. I use a grater. Set aside. Cut up meat and chop onions.
Heat oil to nearly smoking. Put in the meat and brown well. Do this in batches as not to crowd the pan and steam the meat. The bottom of your pan might be darkened with lots of fond from the beef. This is good. Take out your meat and set aside. With the meat out, there is a threat of burning in the pan. Put in your chopped onions. Stir and bring up all the fond off the bottom of the pan/pot.
If your meat is a tough cut, you might want to stew the meat and onions for some time before beginning the rice. To do this, add some water to barely cover the meat and onions and cover the pot.
Boil for as long as it takes, up to an hour or more. This time I boiled my beef for about 45 minutes and it was getting tender. Also at this stage, add salt to the meat and onions. The mix should be a bit salty, as carrots, water, and rice will bring that saltiness down.
Boil some water in a kettle to prepare to pour over the rice in a few steps.
Sprinkle ground cumin and ground pepper into the beef and onion mixture. I used a scant teaspoon of cumin.
Layer the shredded carrots on top.
Layer the pre-soaked short-grained rice on top of the carrots.
Pour boiling water into the pot without disturbing the layers. Since my pot has very straight sides, I poured the water over a spoon to make the water go to down the sides of the pot. Put enough water in to cover the rice.
Boil uncovered until the water goes below the rice (you can make holes in the mixture with a chopstick to see this progress).
Cover tightly and turn heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. If you hear sounds of the bottom drying out and burning early, you might add a little water. Otherwise, you should be good to go. Here is how mine came out, stewed beef from the bottom on top of the rice
This is a rich and heavy dish. It is balanced well with cool crunchy vegetables and/or yogurt. Perfect for a cool fall night!