Lamb, Raisin, and Bean Polov <pilaf>

         Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Asian, Ethnic, Main Dishes, Meat, Uzbekh

1 c Dried white beans 1 ts Salt 2 c Basmati rice 1/4 c Olive oil 1 3/4 lb Lamb boneless cubed 1" 1 c Onion chopped coarsely 1/2 ts Saffron threads crushed 2 tb Water warm 1 c Lamb stock or beef stock 1/4 c Cinnamon ground 1/4 ts Turmeric ground 1/4 ts Nutmeg grated fine 15 tb Butter melted 1/2 c Raisins 12 Dates pitted diced 1/4" 1/4 c Water ---------------------------------EGG CRUST--------------------------------- 4 Eggs large 1 c Basmati saffron rice EGG CRUST DIRECTIONS: Beat the eggs in a large bowl & mix with the rice. Set aside until needed. POLOV DIRECTIONS: Soak the beans overnight. rinse them well and place in a large heavy pot. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, & simmer for 1 hour being sure to skim often. Rinse the 3 cups of rice then place in a large bowl. Barely cover with lukewarm water, add 1 teaspoon salt, then let rice soak for 1 hour. Drain beans and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet, add the meat, onions, & garlic, brown meat and onions/garlic for approx. 10 minutes. Mix the saffron with 2 tablespoons of water add to the meat, season wioth salt & pepper to taste, add the stock, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, etc. bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hrs. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet overmedium-low heat, add the raisins & dates and cook until softened. remove form heat set aside. Bring 3 qts. of water to a boil in a large pot add salt pour in the rinsed rice, allow to boil while stirring for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. The rice will still be hard and not completely cooked. Rinse with cold water. Mix 4 tablespoons of melted butter & 1/4 cup of warm water, pour into a large heatproof, flat-bottomed, casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Place the crust into the casserole being sure that it covers the bottom completely. Spread 1 cup of rice over the crust, then alayer of meat then a layer of beans, then a lyer of dtes & raisins repeat until all ingredients have been used.Top with remianing rice then drizzle 5 tablespoons of butter over this layer of rice. Pour the remaining stock over the this layer of ruce as well. Poke 6 -7 holes into the top layer of rice with the handle of a woodedn spoon. Wrap the casserole lid with a linen or cotton cloth. Be sure not to use a terry cloth towel as it will absorb the steam. Place the lid tightly on the casserole and cook over a med-high heat for 5 minutes, reduce rthe heat to low and steam the casserole for 40 minutes. Stir the remaining butter in a small bowl with the remaining saffron. remove the polov from the heat, let stand for 5 minutes, remove 1 cup of rice form the top layer of the polov and toss with the saffron-butter mixture then replace on the top of the polov. serve at once. * NOTE: In other parts of Central Asia this dish is made with red beans and I have it made with beef, horse, camel, chicken, and venison for the meat instead of the lamb. It is excellent anyway it comes.