Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

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This buckwheat and beef pilaf is a play on traditional rice plov, but I think I like it even more! The meat is fall-apart tender and you’ll be running to refill your plate.

This dish is hearty, flavorful, and a must try. Using toasted buckwheat is nutritious and adds a completely different flavor profile. Buckwheat plov was my husband’s creative genius. Vadim, I just wish you had thought of it sooner! 😉 Also, it pairs well with pickles; #sold.

You may use a variety of beef for this recipe, but you do want some marbeling/fat in the meat for best results. The meat in the photograph below is a chuck roast that I purchased at Costco – I trimmed quite a bit of the fat off.

Ingredients for Buckwheat Plov:

1/3 cup olive oil
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 large onion, diced
1 to 1 1/4 lbs beef (chuck, sirloin or good quality stew meat), trimmed of extra fat and cut into 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick pieces
3 large carrots, julienned
2.5 cups buckwheat groats (aka grechka)
4 1/4 cups cold filtered water + 1 cup hot water
2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste (I use sea salt)
1 tsp cumin spice to taste
1 full head of unpeeled garlic

Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

How to make Buckwheat and Beef Pilaf:

1. Set a large heavy-bottomed stock pot or dutch oven (ours is 5 1/2 Qt) over medium/high heat and add 1/3 cup olive oil and 4 Tbsp butter. Add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally until softened (about 5 min).

Buckwheat and Beef Pilaf-8

2. Add cubed beef and sauté 5 min, turning once (beef will not be fully cooked). Add julienned (click here to see the handy slicer we use) carrots and stir another minute.

Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

3. Add 4 1/4 cups cold water and season with 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook 1 hour (you should hear the faint simmer when your lid is on).

Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

4. Meanwhile (about 10 min before your timer is up), heat a large non-stick skillet over medium/high heat and melt in 4 Tbsp butter. Add 2 1/2 cups buckwheat and toast until golden, stirring often (3-5 min). Pour buckwheat into the pot in an even layer and gently pour enough hot water to cover buckwheat 1/2″ above the level of the buckwheat (I added 1 cup hot water).

Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

5. Cut (using a sharp knife) garlic head in half and place over the top of buckwheat, cut-side-down, pushing down into the buckwheat slightly. Cook uncovered over medium heat until most of the liquid boils out (10 min).

Buckwheat and Beef Pilaf-12

6. Poke 8-10 holes through the buckwheat to allow steam to escape to the surface, then cover with lid, reduce heat to the lowest setting and let pot sit another 30 minutes. Remove garlic and stir everything gently to combine. P.S. The garlic cloves are perfectly edible – you can squeeze them easily out of their skins and serve them in the pilaf if you wish.

Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

Did I mention the meat is T-E-N-D-E-R?

Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

Buckwheat and Beef Pilaf (Plov)

4.96 from 42 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
This buckwheat and beef pilaf is a play on traditional rice plov.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients 

Servings: 8
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lbs beef, chuck, sirloin or good quality stew meat, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2" to 3/4" thick pieces
  • 3 large carrots, julienned
  • 2.5 cups buckwheat groats, aka grechka
  • 4 1/4 cups cold filtered water + 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste (I use sea salt)
  • 1 tsp cumin spice to taste
  • 1 full head of unpeeled garlic

Instructions

  • Set a large heavy-bottomed stock pot or dutch oven over medium/high heat and add 1/3 cup olive oil and 4 Tbsp butter. Add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally until softened (about 5 min).
  • Add cubed beef and sauté 5 min, turning once (beef will not be fully cooked). Add julienned carrots and stir another minute.
  • Add 4 1/4 cups cold water and season with 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile (about 10 min before your timer is up), heat a large non-stick skillet over medium/high heat and melt in 4 Tbsp butter. Add 2 1/2 cups buckwheat and toast until golden, stirring often (3-5 min). Pour buckwheat into the pot in an even layer and gently pour enough hot water to cover buckwheat 1/2" above the level of the buckwheat (I added 1 cup hot water).
  • Cut garlic head in half parallel to the base to expose cloves and place over the top of buckwheat, cut-sides-down, pushing into the buckwheat slightly. Cook uncovered over med heat until most of the surface liquid boils out (10 min).
  • Poke 8-10 holes through the buckwheat to allow steam to escape to the surface, then cover with lid, reduce heat to the lowest setting and let pot sit another 30 minutes. Remove garlic and stir everything gently to combine. P.S. you can squeeze garlic cloves out of their skins and serve them in the pilaf if you wish.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Russian
Keyword: buckwheat, buckwheat pilaf
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

I hope you put this on your menu for the week!

Buckwheat Pilaf with fall-apart tender beef - simple and excellent dish. You'll be running back for refills! | natashaskitchen.com

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Michelle
    February 12, 2022

    Has anyone tried this with bobs red mill whole grain buckwheat?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 12, 2022

      Hi Michelle, I looked through the comments and I’m not seeing anyone mention that specific brand or grain! If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe

      Reply

  • LA
    November 6, 2021

    I’ve made this before and LOVE IT! I have a question though – do you know how this would freeze? Any tips for freezing leftovers?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 6, 2021

      Hi LA, I havne’t tried freezing this to advise on it getting mushy or not once defrosted.

      Reply

  • Emilia
    August 2, 2021

    Hi!
    I am going to make this recipe tonight and I’m so excited!
    I was wondering if there’s any way to make it without the butter or at least minimize it?
    Also, can I cut this recipe in half ?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 2, 2021

      Hi Emilia, I haven’t experimented on that yet but I think it’s okay to cut it in half. If you try that, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

    • Dee
      November 23, 2021

      I only put 2 tbs when I saute onions. Seems plenty! And only 1-1.5 TBS of butter when toasting buckwheat. It’s more than enough I found.

      Reply

  • Stephen Wicks
    February 20, 2021

    I am just starting to cook with buck wheat as it is so healthy. I will try this recipe soon, it looks amazing!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 20, 2021

      The nutritious benefits are so great! I hope you enjoy this recipe, Stephen!

      Reply

  • VK
    July 28, 2020

    I’ve never used buckwheat, but I have barley on hand. Wondering if barley could be substituted in this recipe? Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 28, 2020

      Hi! I haven’t tested this with barley to advise. If you happen to experiment I would love to know how you like this recipe!

      Reply

  • Katherine
    December 12, 2019

    Have you ever make this recipe in Instant pot?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 12, 2019

      Hi Katherine, I haven’t done this particular recipe in the instant pot but we have a similar one with beef and rice. We also have a great chicken and rice. Here are all of our instant pot recipes.

      Reply

  • Chris Richardson
    October 18, 2019

    I love kasha! Have you adapted this dish for cooking in the Instantpot? Please do. Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 18, 2019

      Hi Chris, I haven’t tried this particular recipe in an instant pot – buckwheat would cook much faster than the beef. It might help to follow our beef plov instant pot recipe instead which has a very similar flavor profile.

      Reply

  • Natalia
    October 10, 2019

    Can I add mushrooms to it?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 10, 2019

      Hi Natalia, I haven’t tested that but that should work. If you experiment please let me know how you like that.

      Reply

  • Ludmila
    July 2, 2019

    Hi, Natasha!

    Tell your husband he’s almost a genius. 😜 We’ve been making this dish for over 4 years. I had gulsh left over one day and didn’t want mashed potatoes with it, so I pulled out the grechka! It was a hit. Everybody loved it.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 2, 2019

      I will pass that on! Thank you so much for sharing that Ludmila!

      Reply

  • RR
    May 11, 2019

    Huge fan of the recipe, especially the preroast of the buckwheat groats.

    How would you adapt this recepie for an Instant Pot?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 11, 2019

      I haven’t tried this particular recipe in an instant pot – buckwheat would cook much faster than the beef. It might help to follow our beef plov instant pot recipe instead which has a very similar flavor profile.

      Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2019

      I’m so glad you love our buckwheat pilaf recipe! I haven’t made this in the instant pot because I think it might be complicated since you would have to open the pot after a time to add the beef. Without testing it, I wouldn’t be able to give you exact instructions for the instant pot.

      Reply

      • Ella
        April 13, 2024

        Wouldn’t it make sense to use same instructions as instant pot rice plov, where you add the grain after beef is cooked through, only adjust cook time and water for buckwheat??

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          April 13, 2024

          Hi Ella, without testing that myself I’m not confident on advising since buckwheat cooks differently than rice.

          Reply

  • Lana
    November 29, 2018

    Hi! I just got an instant pot and what to try to make this recipe..
    What do you think? Do you have any suggestions or tips?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 30, 2018

      Hi Lana, I haven’t tried this particular recipe in an instant pot – buckwheat would cook much faster than the beef. It might help to follow our beef plov instant pot recipe instead which has a very similar flavor profile.

      Reply

  • Mr Petrov
    October 23, 2018

    Natasha – thanks for the great work you’re doing with your website! I became a much better cook (from zero, actually) – thanks to you. Question – what peeler/grater do you use for carrots? The one in this recipe looks like it’s creating a nice thin jullien. (this looks like it will be just the right cut for the Korean carrot salad (the russian/korean salad with garlic and vinegar)

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 23, 2018

      Thank you for that amazing compliment! I’m so happy you are enjoying our blog! This is the peeler we use here. I hope you like it!

      Reply

  • Vicki
    April 20, 2018

    Hi Natasha thank you for the recipe. I’m trying to eat healthy. Can you tell me how much is one serving and how many calories are in there?!! Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 20, 2018

      You’re welcome Vicki! We are working on adding nutrition labels and metric measurements on all of our recipes. It’s a slow process since it is one recipe at a time. Until all of the recipes are updated, check out this nutrition analyzer – you can plug in the ingredients from any recipe, select the serving size and it will give you nutritional info, calories, etc. I hope that is helpful to you!

      Reply

  • Alla
    April 12, 2018

    Natashanka, it is soooo nice to have your blog for ideas. as a fellow Russian girl looking for recipes that our moms cooked, but with american measurements and ingredients, it is soooo helpful. i’ve cooked so many of your recipes and all are so simple and delicious.. you rock!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 12, 2018

      I’m glad you find my blog so helpful! Thanks for following Alla and sharing your encouraging comments!

      Reply

  • Betty
    February 12, 2018

    Do you use whole groats, or cracked ones? I have some labeled “medium granulation” kasha.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 12, 2018

      Hi Betty, from what I can tell, yours are the cracked ones which cook much faster. They should be whole groats for this recipe or they will be overcooked and probably mushy.

      Reply

  • Marina
    September 7, 2017

    Hello Natasha!

    Do you wash or soak your buckwheat?

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 7, 2017

      Hi Marina, it depends on the recipe and also where the buckwheat is sourced from. I will aways state when it is necessary in a recipe. In this recipe, I did not rinse or soak.

      Reply

      • COLLEEN88
        August 3, 2019

        For an additional bit of depth, I substituted 1 cup of decaf Texas pecan coffee. We learned, living overseas, that adding coffee to any pot roast, no matter how old that water buffalo was when it dropped dead, could tenderize beef like nothing else, and really added a nice depth. Decaf is simply because I am caffeine sensative.

        Reply

        • Natasha
          August 4, 2019

          Interesting!! I haven’t tried that before but now I’m so curious!

          Reply

  • Hannah
    August 30, 2017

    This turned out so delicious! I will definitely make it again and again!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 30, 2017

      I’m glad to hear that Hannah! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers!

      Reply

  • Stefano
    August 17, 2017

    Second receipt in one week, it’s good, but I feel it needs a pop flavor to stand out. What do you think about adding some herb like bay leaf, cilantro, rosemary or sage?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 17, 2017

      Hi Stefano, the flavor combination is more of the traditional flavor profile of plov but you can definitely experiment with new flavors 🙂

      Reply

  • Alina
    July 24, 2017

    Hi Natasha. Thank you so much for these awesome recipes! Can you please tell me if I am using already toasted buckwheat, do I still need to toast it separately and add butter?

    thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 24, 2017

      Hi Alina, yes I would still toast the buckwheat because it becomes fragrant and adds a deeper nutty flavor.

      Reply

  • Rose
    May 31, 2017

    Natasha, I love your recipes! They are always so delicious and I know that I can fully trust them. I’m planning to try this buckwheat beef pilaf tonight. What if I add mushrooms to this recipe? I think it will taste Great! 🙂 keep it up! 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 31, 2017

      Thank you Rose and I’m so glad you are enjoying our recipes! 🙂 I do think mushrooms would taste great and that is an awesome idea!!

      Reply

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