1) Wash the rice thoroughly in warm water, soak the rice in salted lukewarm water to cover by 2 inches for 3 to 4 hours.
2) Trim any fat off of the meat, and cut meat into small pieces (2 inch cubes), wash well and drain.
3) Thinly slice the onions. In a large pot add the oil. When oil gets hot, add the onions and fry well until golden brown. Add the meat, salt and pepper and cook over low heat until the meat is well done, (about 45 minutes to 1 hour) or until meat is done.
4) Clean the herbs cutting out coarse stems, wash, dry and chop finely.
5) In a large saucepan, bring 8 to 12 cups of water to a rapid boil. Pour off any excess water from rice and pour into boiling water. Bring back to boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Test to see if the rice is ready. The grains should be firm in the center and rather soft on the outside. Strain and rinse with lukewarm water. Toss gently in a strainer.
6) Bring 1/4 cup of water and 2 to 3 tbsp. of oil to a rapid boil. Add layers of the rice and the mixed herbs interchangeably building it up to a dome shape. The top layer should be rice. Make sure the herbs are dry before mixing them with the rice. Poke 5 or 6 holes through the rice to the bottom with the handle of a spoon. Close the lid. Keep on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until rice starts steaming. Heat up 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbsp. of oil and pour over the rice. Wrap the saucepan lid in a clean tablecloth and cover the pan firmly. Reduce heat to low and cook for (about 45 minutes to an hour).
7) After removing from heat, place the saucepan in the sink and run cold water under it to cool it down. Add 1/4 tsp. of saffron to 1 tbsp. of hot water. Lightly mix 2 to 3 tbsp. of rice with the liquid saffron in a small bowl. Set it aside for garnish. To dish up, gently toss the rice and sprinkle lightly in a dish in a symmetrical mound. Garnish with the saffron rice. You can either serve the meat (or chicken) in a separate dish or mix it with the rice in the same dish. Remove the crusty bottom and serve in a separate plate.