The Persian name of the above dish is “shevid baghali polow” with “goosht” 🙂 It is considered a festive dish, with so many variations in different Iranian cities. My culinary adventure in this case includes preparing the meat component of the dish in “pot roast” style.
I strongly recommend it over the more traditional way of “cooking’ the meat in water.
Part 1: Pot Roast
- Veal (or beef) boneless chunks appropriate for roast (loin, or fillet), 500-600 grams, washed and patted dry.
- Carrot, 1 medium, thickly sliced lengthwise.
- onions, 2 medium, thickly sliced lengthwise.
- Garlic, 3 cloves.
- Olive oil, 2 tbsp.
- Turmeric and Iranian all spice (advieh) for mixed rice, ½ tbsp. each.
- Saffron 1 tea spoon.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Method: In a medium size thick-bottomed pot, heat oil. Rob salt, pepper, and advieh all over meat’s chunks and brown each side for a few minutes over medium heat. Transfer the roasts into a platter. Add onions and garlic to the pan and cook for two minutes, then add carrots on the top. Sit the roast on top of onions and carrot. Turn the heat to minimum, cover with a tight lid and slow cook for at least two hours. You will not need to add any water at all! The roast will release its liquid and cooks itself at the core in the water produced by onions and carrots. You will see that at the end of cooking process (two hours or so) you will get a thick tasty broth and an extremely tender and savory roast meat.
Part 2: Mixed rice:
- Rice, 4 cups.
- Fresh or defrosted broad beans, shelled, skinned and split in two, 400gr. (never use canned broad beans! They are already too cooked, or too transformed in color and taste for this purpose. The picture shows what I easily find here in Montreal in the Middle Eastern supermarkets)
- Fresh dill, washed and chopped, ½ cup + 2 tbsp. dried dill.
- Turmeric, ¼ tbsp.
- Pinch of saffron.
- Salt, oil, water, as needed.
Method: Prepare rice in usual way as if for plain rice (soaked in salted water, drained, boiled in lots of water, drained, and steamed cooked for at least one hour). This type of mixed polow is a bit different from the others in two ways:
1) At the stage when you add your soaked and drained rice to the boiling water, add a pinch of turmeric.
2) Just before you judge the grains to have been cooked at the core and ready to go to the colander, add the board beans as well. They should not cook in the water more than a couple of minutes though or will go mushy. Drain rice (now mixed with broad beans) in a fine meshed colander. Do so a bit earlier than you normally would. Once in colander, add the dried and fresh dill and shake the colander hard a few times (do not stir). Prepare the pot’s bottom with oil and bread or rice for tahdig, mound the mixture of rice, dill, beans back to the pot. Sprinkle a pinch of saffron and 2 tbsp. of broth (from your pot roast) and cover the pot with the lid. When you notice steams building inside the pot, wrap the lid in a clean kitchen cloth and put it back on. Allow at least one hour for the mixed polow to steam cook.
You could serve the mixed rice and the roast veal, accompanied by its cooked onion and broth separately. I rather place the meat in the middle of the mixed rice and serve separately only its broth for those who prefer their plate a bit juicier. Like many other mixed-polow, this one should be served hot and it goes very well with Iranian torshi, fresh herbs and Shirazi salad