Ukrainian Pork Plov (Rice Pilaf)
Continuing on with my trend of traditional Ukrainian recipes, here is a popular home style recipe for pork plov. Plov is what Ukrainians call rice pilaf, and it can be made with a variety of meats. The most traditional is Ukrainian pork plov, and it is also a great way to use up any pork scraps you have from previous recipes.
If you are going out to buy pork just for this recipe I would recommend buying pork ribs as they add tons of great flavor to the rice. I had a bunch of pork left over after writing my article for How To Roast A Perfect Rack Of Pork, so I just used that to make this pork plov. Speaking of, I do call this Ukrainian pork plov, however it is basically the recipe for most of Eastern Europe, encompassing Russia, Belarus, Poland, and the Baltics. The Bulgarian and Romanian plovs are a bit different, but I think my recipe will pass in those countries as well.
The first thing to do is to saute the pork in some oil until partially cooked. The scraps I’m using is the rib meat from frenching a pork loin so it has a really good amount of fat. Just saute until the outside is cooked with medium heat. At this point I also add in two teaspoons of salt.
The veggies for the pork plov are quite simple. I just grated two carrots, chopped a large onion, and roughly chopped four cloves of garlic. Add the vegetables to the pot and let everything cook for a few minutes, or until the onions get soft.
After the vegetables soften a bit add in two cups of rice, two tablespoons of tomato paste, and the seasoning blend. My mix is equal components of cumin, coriander, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, curcuma, black pepper, and salt. You can make as much seasoning as you want, but for two cups of rice (this recipe) I use two tablespoons of the seasoning blend. Mix everything and let fry on the medium heat it was on for a minute.
Then add four cups (1 liter) of water to the pot. Turn the heat up high until the liquid comes to a boil, then lower a heat to the minimum. Put the lid on and let everything cook for 30 minutes. Do not open the pot or touch the rice at all for the entirety of the cooking time.
After 30 minutes of cooking turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit in the bowl (still without opening the lid) for another 15 minutes. Finally you can open the pot. Give everything a good stir and scoop the Ukrainian pork plov into a bowl to serve. Enjoy!
- 500 grams Pork recommended to use the rib meat, but any part will work
- 2 cups Rice
- 2 Carrots shredded
- 1 large Onion chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 tbsp Seasoning Mixture
- Vegetable Oil To coat the bottom of the pot
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Coriander
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 1 tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Curcuma
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- In a pot on medium heat add the pork and cook until the outside is browned. You don't want to cook the pork fully through at this point.
- Into the pot add the carrot, onion, and garlic, along with a pinch of salt and mix everything up. Saute everything for another minute.
- Add the rice, tomato paste, and seasoning blend to the pot and stir. Cook everything for another minute or two, or until very fragrant.
- Pour into the pot 4 cups (1 liter) of water and turn the heat up so you can bring it to a boil. Once boiling give everything a swirl, lower the heat to the lowest setting, and put the lid on. Cook for a half hour and do not open the pot at all.
- After a half hour turn the heat off and let rest for 15 minutes, still without opening the lid.
- Open the lid, give everything a good mix, and spoon into bowls to serve.
Ukrainian Pork Plov (Rice Pilaf)
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