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With this recipe, your family and guests will definitely rate you as a 5-star chef. This is because Easy Kabsa with Beef Shanks is a unique Middle Eastern main dish that ranks as the king of any fancy meal or festive plate.
Commonly known as Beef or Lamb Kabsa, this easy rice recipe is a one-pot meal that will leave you and your loved ones completely satisfied. In fact, it’s the perfect meal that offers you the most effective shortcuts to a succulent lunch or dinner.
Love in a Plate of Kabsa
What does the word “Kabsa” mean?
The word “kabsa” is an Arabic word that literally means pressed or packed together. The name actually comes from the way the dish is prepared where all ingredients are stacked together in one pot. While Kabsa has similar staples as in Mandi pots or biryani spice rice dish, it is sometimes cooked in a pressure cooker to save time.
Kabsa is a fragrant dish of two main ingredients: meat and rice. But the meat can be lamb, beef, chicken, or even less commonly fish. As for rice, use some cups basmati rice the best for this meal. The dish is very popular and desirable in the Middle East in general and the Gulf countries in particular. It is a traditional dish in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and most importantly Saudi Arabia, where the dish originated.
A Full Meal Powered by Beef Shanks
The Chicken Version of Kabsa
Did you know that you can prepare chicken kabsa instead of kabsa with beef shanks? It’s quite easy and appetizing to those chicken fans in your family.
To do so, you can follow the same exact steps in the recipe card. You just leave out the beef or lamb shanks. Instead, you can choose either one of two options.
One way is by using whole chicken thighs, drumsticks, or breasts, either boned or deboned. You firstly grill the chicken cuts over a large pan or grill. Then, go through the other steps. At last, put the grilled chicken pieces on top of the rice.
The other way is by cooking the chicken pieces. Place them covered with water in a large pot. Boil them on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes and then on medium to low heat for 30 minutes. Then, you follow the same steps; you only replace the cooked beef shanks or lamb pieces with the chicken ones.
The Purest Kabsa Spices Ever
Tips for the Perfect Beef Kabsa
To have fluffy kabsa rice, first wash the rice, soak it in water for 30 minutes, and then drain. Also, be careful about the amount of water to add. It’s a rule of thumb that says when you use one cup Basmati rice, you add one a half cups liquid. Make sure not to stir the rice while cooking.
It’s common to eat beef or lamb kabsa with side dips. In general, Saudis have the dish with a sauce called Shatta or chili pepper sauce. Mix green pepper, garlic, tomato, and cilantro, black pepper, and enough salt in a small bowl to get the sauce.
One variation of the kabsa with beef shanks recipe goes without broth. You can replace the meat broth with tomato sauce. It’s a mixture of tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.
Give the meat a fragrant touch before you cook it. Add some cardamom pods, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick to the meat broth.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best kind is lean beef with a little fat. It cooks tenderly and can be cut into chunks easily.
Yes, absolutely. You can keep them refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Then, you can reheat them in the microwave or over a non-stick skillet sprayed with some water.
You can serve kabsa with salads as fattoush, tabbouleh, or cucumber and yoghurt salad.
Beef Kabsa: The Queen of Middle Eastern Dishes
Ingredients of Kabsa with Beef Shanks
Beef: Use shanks of beef that are mostly lean. You can replace beef with lamb, and the best part for kabsa is lamb thighs.
Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is used to sauté the veggies.
Veggies: Kabsa becomes delectable with a combination of vegetables as onions, carrots, and tomatoes, all cubed into large chunks.
Ginger and garlic: You can also use the paste or freshly grated/minced ginger and garlic.
Kabsa spice: This is one of these whole spices. But you can prepare it yourself if it isn’t available. Use equal amounts of these ground spices: turmeric, fennel, cilantro powder, ground ginger, black pepper, black cardamom, and cumin.
Basmati rice: Always opt for long-grain basmati rice.
Meat broth: You can use the broth of the cooked beef.
Salt: Salt is the balancing factor that brings out all tastes and flavors.
For the Topping
Almonds: Choose slivered almonds. You can also use raw cashews or pine nuts.
Olive oil: It makes the nuts crunchy. To do so, heat this vegetable oil and add the nuts.
(Scroll down for recipe details.)
Beef Recipes You May Want to Try
- Mansaf (Lebanese Rice with Meat)
- Ultimate Beef Shawarma Sandwich
- Quick Spicy Beef (Sujuk) Pizza
- Green Bean Stew with Minced Beef (Loubia Bi Lahme)
- Loaded Beef Shawarma Fries
- Beef Shank Layered Fatteh
- Freekeh with Beef Shanks
- Meat Pies – Lahme Bi Ajeen
- Simple Lebanese Meat and Rice-Hashweh
- Beef Shawarma Egg Rolls – Air Fried
Easy Beef Kabsa
- 1 cup slivered almonds , and/or raw cashews
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Place the beef shanks in a pressure cooker for 1 hour.
- Remove the meat and gently piece each chunk using your hands into the size you desire.
- Sift the meat broth to clean from any gunk.
- Wash and drain your rice until the water runs clear.
- In a medium pot, add 1/4 cup oil on high heat and then sauté the cubed onions and carrots for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste and stir for another 2 minutes, or you can use fresh garlic and ginger.
- Add in the soaked and drained rice, cooked meat chunks, kabsa spice, salt, meat broth and cubed tomatoes, and then stir.
- Let it boil for 1 minute, and then cover the pot and lower to simmer for 15 -17 minutes.
- Allow rice to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Toast the slivered almonds with olive oil until they are golden brown to garnish the rice along with minced parsley.
- To have fluffy kabsa rice, first wash the rice, soak it in water for 30 minutes, and then drain. Also, be careful about the amount of water to add. It’s a rule of thumb that says when you use one cup Basmati rice, you add one a half cups liquid. Make sure not to stir the rice while cooking.
- It’s common to eat beef or lamb kabsa with side dips. In general, Saudis have the dish with a sauce called Shatta or chili pepper sauce.
- One variation of the kabsa with beef shanks recipe goes without broth. You can replace the meat broth with tomato sauce.
- Give the meat a fragrant touch before you cook it. Add some cardamom pods, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick to the meat broth.