French Beans, Rice and Beef


serves 4
25 g (1 oz) 2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
450 g (1 lb) stewing beef, cubed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
5 ml (1 tsp) ground turmeric
450 g (1 lb) tomatoes, chopped
10 ml (2 tbsp) tomato puree
350 ml (12 fl oz) 1 1/2 cups water
350 g (12 oz) 2 1/2 cups French beans, trimmed and halved
salt and ground black pepper

for the rice

275 g (10 oz) scant 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, soaked in salted water for 2 hours
1.75 litres (3 pints) 7 1/2 cups water
45 ml (3 tbsp) melted butter
2 - 3 saffron strands, soaked in 15 ml (1 tbsp) boiling water
pinch of salt


1. Melt the butter or margarine in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and fry the onion until golden. Add the beef and fry until evenly browned, then add the garlic, spices, tomatoes, tomato puree and water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes.

2. Add the French beans and continue cooking for a further 15 minutes
until the meat is tender and most of the
meat juices have evaporated.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the rice. Drain, then boil it in salted water for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 10 minutes or until it is half-cooked. Drain, and rinse the rice in warm water. Wash and dry the saucepan.

4. Heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the melted butter in the pan and stir in about a third of the rice. Spoon half of the meat mixture over the rice, add a layer of rice, then the remaining meat and finish with another layer of rice.

5. Pour the remaining melted butter over the rice and cover the pan with a clean dish towel. Secure with the lid and then steam, the rice for 30 - 45 minutes over a low heat.

6. Take 45 ml (3 tbsp) of cooked rice from the pan and mix with the saffron water. Serve the cooked rice and beef on a large dish and sprinkle the saffron rice on top.

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