Rice with meat is a traditional home-cooking dish that only requires one pot. It’s usually prepared with fatty pork and super delicious. It’s said that Austrian people first learned about this dish from the Balkan countries.
Rice with meat is basically a goulash to which you add rice. The rice then soaks up all the delicious sauce and becomes super flavorful. Instead of pork, this dish can also be prepared with beef or chicken even though pork shoulder or belly will give you the juiciest result.
The amount of onions listed in the recipe is no mistake. In a traditional goulash, you add one pound of onions per one pound of meat. Onions bind the sauce nicely and balance the acidity of the wine. You could cook rice with meat without any wine. That’s probably how they do it in the Balkans. But I love the depth of flavor that wine lends to stews.
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Paprika powder is the key ingredient to delicious rice with meat
All of the spices in this stew are negotiable except for the paprika powder. It gives the rice a beautiful red color. You should use a mixture of sweet and spicy paprika powder. How much spicy paprika powder you like is up to your taste. It’s better to be a bit conservative at first and add more to the finished dish if you think it still lacks spiciness.
This dish is the perfect opportunity to use your pressure cooker. Without one, it can be a pretty lengthy process. You first need to braise the meat and then cook the rice once it is tender. That will take you about 2 hours if you’re using a tough cut of pork. With a pressure cooker, you can cut down the cooking time to less than half an hour.
Rice with meat is traditionally served with a cucumber salad on the side. It’s great to have something acidic alongside it to cut through its richness.
1 cup (7 ounces | 200 g) basmati rice, washed and rinsed
finely minced chives, for sprinkling
Cook the pork shoulder:
Season the pork with salt to taste. Heat the lard in your pressure cooker or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the meat and sear on all sides until well browned, about 4-5 minutes. Take the meat out of the pot and set aside.
Turn down the heat to medium-low and add your onions and garlic cloves. Sweat them for 4-5 minutes to break down the onions a little. Add the tomato paste, spices, rosemary, and bay leaves and sweat for another minute. Deglaze the pot with white wine and chicken broth and add your meat along with the resting juices back into the pan. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar. If using a pressure cooker, cook the pork on the high heat setting for 20 minutes followed by a natural pressure release. If using a Dutch oven, cook the pork, covered, over the lowest possible heat for 1.5 hours or until tender to your liking.
Cook the rice:
Add your rice into the pot and mix well. If using a pressure cooker, bring the pressure cooker up to the low-pressure setting. Immediately take it off the heat and wait for the pressure to release naturally (don’t cook it over high pressure or it will burn at the bottom of the pot). The rice will be perfectly cooked once the pressure has been released. If not, continue to cook it over low heat until the rice is tender and add extra water or chicken broth if required. If using a Dutch oven, simply cook the rice, covered, for about 10-15 minutes or until tender to your liking. Add extra water or chicken broth if required but make sure the dish doesn’t become soupy.
Season the rice to taste with salt. Sprinkle with chives and serve while still hot with a cucumber or green salad on the side.
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