Here it is, my first post ever. I start this journey with one of my favorite dishes of all times Uzbek Lamb Rice Pilaf.
This dish has always been one of my favorite, with flavorful rice mixed with the lamb that melts in your mouth, yum, I’m getting hungry just thinking of it.
One problem I’ve always had, was an extremely daunting task of cooking it. It required a Cast Iron Kazan and hours upon hours of cooking. So it became a rare occasion delight for us, until now. Here comes Instant Pot to the rescue. Now I can make this dish in about 15 minutes of prep time and it cooks on its own. Now let’s get cooking:
- Leg of Lamb – I usually buy a boneless leg of lamb from a local butcher, separate the fat from it and chop it in 2” cubes. I also chop fat into small ¼” pieces. Then I divide the meat into 3 portions and use one portion each time I cook, freezing the other two. I divide the fat into 3 portions as well and store in freezer as well.
- Lamb Fat – The fat that we separated from meat.
- Rice – I like to use Jasmine Rice, we will need 3 cups, rinsed and soaked in water for about an hour.
- Onion – One large onion, chopped
- Carrot – Two large carrots, peeled and chopped
- Raisins – 1/3 cup of Raisins
- Garlic – 1 whole Head of Garlic, partially peeled and top sliced off to expose the cloves.
- Chicken Broth – about a cup of Chicken Broth.
- Avocado Oil – 1 tablespoon of Avocado Cooking Oil
- Start with getting ready. Mise en Place (MEEZ ahn plahs) is a French term for having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you start cooking. It is essential with saving time and not forgetting ingredients.
- Start your Instant Pot and set it to Saute, than add Avocado Cooking Oil.
- Once it heats up add one portion of Lamb Fat and cook it until it releases all the fat and turns into cracklings. Use the Strainer Spatula to get all of the cracklings out. Confession – I sprinkle them with salt and eat them like candy, they are AMAZING!!! Also set the head of Garlic, cut side down, into the fat for about a minute to add a flavor, than take it out and save it for later.
- Add your chopped Onion and saute it until it starts turning translucent.
- Add one cubed portion of Leg of Lamb and sear it, once it starts releasing juice, add chopped Carrots and Raisins
- Add all spices, mix everything up, and then add until meat is just covered, with pieces still showing through liquid.
- Close the lid, make sure the vent is closed as well, and then set Instant Pot to Stew option for 45 minutes.
- Pour yourself a glass of wine, I personally love Moscato, and take a break.
- Once the timer is done, vent, open the lid and spoon the rice over the top. This is a key: DO NOT MIX the rice with the stew, spoon it over the top so it is sitting on top of the stew. Now take the head of Garlic and push it into the center of the rice so it is barely visible.
- Close the lid, make sure the vent is closed as well, and then set Instant Pot to Rice option for 15 minutes.
- Once the timer is done, vent, open the lid. This is a key: DO NOT MIX the rice with the stew, instead take a wooden stick, I use Bamboo Skewers, and push it in to the bottom of the pot and make a small hole in the rice by slightly wiggling it around. Use this method to make a whole bunch of these holes, about 1 ½ inches apart.
- Close the lid, and then set Instant Pot to Keep Warm for 30 minutes.
- Once the timer is done, open the lid, take the head of Garlic out, than take a Wooden Spatula and mix everything together well. Congratulations, you are done!!!
Enjoy your Uzbek Lamb Rice Pilaf, If you like my recipe, please share my site, I’ll be working hard to bring you more content shortly.