Middle Eastern Rice with Ground Beef is one of my favorite side dishes. Hashweh, as it's called in Arabic, which literally means "stuffing," is a classic Levantine dish made with ground beef (or lamb, if you prefer) and rice, seasoned with amazing spices. While this rice is a delicious stuffing for poultry or meat, it also makes for a satisfyingly flavorful entree or side that comes together in about half an hour.
Hashweh is usually a one-pot dish. But of course, I have to do things a little differently. My trick is to cook the meat and rice separately. Besides preventing the meat from getting overcooked, cooking the components separately allows for the texture and flavor of each piece to shine individually, whether it’s the earthy nuts, the fragrant meat, or the savory rice.
1 lb ground beef or lamb
2 cups rice, rinsed and drained
2 cups water, beef, chicken or lamb broth
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 - 3 tsp. all spice or Bharat
1 tbsp. cooking oil
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup almonds (blanched, peeled and slivered)
In a medium saucepan, combine the ground beef, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, 7-spice and cook on medium heat.
In another saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. of cooking oil and fry the almonds and pine nuts, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In a pot, toast uncooked rice in oil, then add chicken or beef broth, bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer.
Continue to cook, covered, until the water is almost absorbed and the rice is almost fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the beef mixture, mix well.
Serve in a platter, sprinkled with fried nuts (I use almonds and pine nuts.).
This dish is best served with roasted chicken, beef, or lamb. I also enjoy it on its own with yogurt and a light salad.