3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
2 large onions, thinly sliced
8-10 large carrots, cut into matchsticks
3 cups of Long Grain Rice, steeped in water
3-4 heads of garlic, with tops cut off
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
salt to taste
grapeseed or vegetable oil for frying
1. In a cast-iron pot, pour in about 1/2 an inch of oil, be generous with it. Turn up the heat all the way. When you see your pan smoking, add your meat. *Do not over crowd your pot. If you happen to do so and you accumulate a large amount of liquid from the meat, pour out the liquid and reserve it for later, when you add water to the carrots. This way your meat will be able to brown nicely.*
2. Once your beef has browned on all sides, about 10 minutes, add in your sliced onions.
3. Saute’ for 15 minutes, until the onions are nicely browned.
4. At this point add in your matchstick carrots and saute for about 15 minutes.
5. Now add in your garlic and nestle it into the mixture. Just cut off the tops and take some of the loose “paper” off the garlic. Take BOILING water and add it to your garlic, carrots, meat and onions. Only add enough water to just cover the mixture. Add in your herbs and spices, taste the liquid and ensure that there is enough salt and spice in there to compensate for the rice you will be putting in later. NOW you may turn your heat down to low.*You want to use boiling water because otherwise you would stop the cooking time. At this time, if you can also add any leftover liquid from the meat.*
6. GO AWAY. PLEASE PLEASE Please whatever you do DO NOT STIR! You will disrupt the wonderful magic that is about to happen! Go talk on the phone, watch half a movie, drink some wine…whatever you want…just do not touch this for 45 minutes.
7. Once this time has passed crank up the heat. Remember that rice you had steeping in the water? Now is the time to drain it and prepare for its final resting place. Once drained, lay the rice CAREFULLY over your carrot, meat and onion mixture. Pretend you are gently “blanketing” the mixture with your rice. Again, take BOILING water and SLOWLY cover the rice just about 1/2 of an inch above the rice. See all that beautiful brown goodness come up to the top? That’s your flavor right there, that’s what you did all that work for. Now just get the rice done and you will have a complete success.
Let the rice cook on HIGH heat until there is no more liquid. If you see liquid still bubbling up from the top, it isn’t done. If you see liquid bubbling up at the bottom, it isn’t done. Only when it is completely dry is it done.
Once it is completely dry, turn off the heat and cover with the lid for about 30-60 minutes. Only after this time passes can you mix the mixture. Serve with garlic cloves on top.