I note this recipe is versatile because most of the ingredients can be replaced with alternatives or skipped altogether. The basic elements are thus:
- cooking fat or oil
- aromatics such as diced onion
- basmati rice (2 cups)
- liquid such as water or broth (3 cups)
- sea salt
Start by cooking the aromatics (such as diced onion and carrot) in the cooking fat on medium heat for about five minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Be careful not to brown or burn. Add the diced bacon or ham and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the rice or cooking grain and cook another three minutes. Add the salt and 3 cups cooking liquid, stirring carefully and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to the very lowest setting, cover tightly with a lid and set a timer for 25 minutes. Do not remove the lid or stir during this time. After 25 minutes the rice is ready to serve.
We enjoy this simple preparation alongside roasted duck or chicken or underneath a blanket of beef stew, pork carnitas or stroganoff. Our preferred cooking vessel is a 6 quart enameled cast iron casserole such as Le Creuset, but any medium sized pot with a tight fitting lid will do. Alternatively a rice cooker or crock pot would work equally well. As I mention in the header, we often use any leftover cooking grease or pan drippings as the fat base, but butter, lard, olive oil, duck fat or anything on hand is fine.