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How to Cook Beef with Rice: A Weeknight Dinner Winner

How to Cook Beef with Rice_ A Weeknight Dinner Winner

Beef with rice is a classic comfort food combination that can be enjoyed in countless ways. It’s also a lifesaver on busy weeknights – affordable, simple to prepare, and endlessly customizable. This article will explore two delicious variations: a savory skillet dish and a one-pot aromatic beef and rice recipe.

In my Caribbean childhood, rice wasn’t typically paired with large cuts of chicken or beef. Our meals featured protein like salted cod or shrimp, but whole pieces of meat were usually cooked and served on their own. We might add cooked meat to the rice after it was finished, but the flavors weren’t simmered together beforehand. Ground beef was a different story – it became burgers, meatloaf, meatballs, chili, stir-fries, or a base for savory stuffings.

How to choose the best rice for cooking Beef with Rice

The best rice for cooking beef with rice depends on the type of dish you’re making and the texture you prefer:

Ground Beef and Rice Skillet:

  • Long-grain white rice: This is the classic choice for this dish. It cooks up fluffy and separate, preventing the meal from becoming mushy.

One-Pan Aromatic Beef and Rice:

  • Basmati rice: This long-grain rice has a slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with the aromatics in this recipe. It also cooks up fluffy and separate.
  • Medium-grain rice: You can also use medium-grain rice for a slightly chewier texture. It will absorb some of the sauce from the beef, making the dish more flavorful.

Other Options:

  • Brown Rice: Brown rice adds a nutty flavor and extra fiber to the dish. However, the cooking time is longer than white rice, so you may need to adjust the cooking method slightly.
  • Jasmine Rice: Jasmine rice has a delicate floral aroma that can be a nice contrast to savory beef. However, its stickier texture might not be ideal for all beef and rice dishes.

General Tips:

  • Regardless of the type of rice you choose, be sure to rinse it well before cooking. This removes excess starch, which helps prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
  • For best results, follow the cooking instructions on the rice package. The water-to-rice ratio and cooking time may vary depending on the type of rice.

Ultimately, the best way to choose the perfect rice for your beef and rice dish is to experiment and see what you like best!

How to Cook Beef with Rice_ A Weeknight Dinner Winner
Photo credit: Canva | How to Cook Beef with Rice_ A Weeknight Dinner Winner

What is the best beef cut for cooking Beef with Rice

The best cut of beef for your rice dish depends on the cooking method and desired texture:

Quick and Easy Skillet Meals:

  • Ground Beef: This is the most convenient option. It’s readily available, cooks quickly, and breaks up easily to distribute flavor throughout the dish.

Slower Cooked One-Pan Meals:

Here, you can explore cuts with richer flavor that benefit from simmering:

  • Stew Meat: Pre-cut stew meat (often from chuck roast or rump roast) is a budget-friendly option. The connective tissues in these cuts break down during cooking, resulting in tender, flavorful meat.
  • Flank Steak: Thinly sliced flank steak cooks quickly and has a robust beefy flavor. Be sure to slice it against the grain for maximum tenderness.
  • Skirt Steak: Similar to flank steak, skirt steak is another flavorful cut that’s ideal for quick cooking. Marinating it beforehand can further enhance tenderness.

Other Options:

  • Tri-Tip Roast: This cut from the tri-tip muscle is leaner than chuck roast but still benefits from slower cooking. Slicing it thinly against the grain ensures tender results.
  • Sirloin Steak: While typically used for grilling, sirloin steak can be cubed and cooked in a one-pan dish. However, it can become dry if overcooked, so watch the cooking time carefully.

General Tips:

  • Consider the fat content of the cut. Leaner cuts like flank steak or sirloin might benefit from a quick marinade to add moisture and flavor.
  • Regardless of the cut, ensure the beef is cut into bite-sized pieces for even cooking and easy incorporation with the rice.

Ultimately, the best cut of beef for your rice dish comes down to personal preference and what you have on hand. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you!

How to Cook Beef with Rice_ A Weeknight Dinner Winner
Photo credit: Canva | How to Cook Beef with Rice_ A Weeknight Dinner Winner

Ground Beef and Rice Skillet

This recipe is perfect for when you’re short on time and ingredients. It’s a hearty one-pan meal that’s sure to please the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • Season to taste with additional spices or NouBess Hot and Spicy Sauce

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned. Drain any excess grease.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, beef broth, rice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked through and fluffy.
  5. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  6. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional) and serve.

One-Pot Aromatic Beef and Rice

This recipe is a flavor bomb! The beef is simmered with aromatics like onions and tomatoes, resulting in a fragrant and delicious dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup basmati rice (or any long-grain white rice)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Season to taste with additional spices or NouBess Hot and Spicy Sauce
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season beef with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and cook until browned on all sides.
  2. Add onion and garlic to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, beef broth, rice, and bay leaf. Season with additional salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked through and fluffy.
  5. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  6. Discard bay leaf and garnish with chopped cilantro (optional) before serving.

Tips:

  • Ground Beef and Rice Skillet: Feel free to add other vegetables to this recipe, such as frozen peas, corn, or carrots. You can also use ground turkey or chicken sausage in place of the ground beef.
  • One-Pot Aromatic Beef and Rice: For a richer flavor, use browned butter instead of olive oil. You can also add a pinch of saffron to the pot for a luxurious touch.

These are just two ways to enjoy beef with rice. With a little creativity, you can create endless variations of this classic dish. So next time you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, give one of these recipes a try!

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