Greek Giouvetsi (Youvetsi)
Giouvetsi is one of those traditional Greek dishes that bring back childhood memories. It is made with orzo pasta, onions, red wine, delicious tomato sauce and beef. The way orzo pasta soaks up all the flavours from the stew, combined with the delicious and tender beef, makes this recipe unbelievably tasty!
- 2.2 lb beef cut into portions
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 leak coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp of tomato sauce
- 14 oz of chopped tomatoes 1 can
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 grains of allspice (alternatively 1 cinnamon stick,½ teaspoon ground nutmeg)
- 1/2 cup Kritharaki
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- 2 cups orzo
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 springs of parsley chopped
Prepare the Beef:
- Pat the beef dry using absorbent paper.
- In a deep saucepan, heat olive oil and sear the beef portions on all sides until they achieve a golden brown color, approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
- Introduce the whole vegetables – onion, carrot, leek, and garlic – into the saucepan, allowing them to soften alongside the beef.
- Incorporate the tomato paste into the mixture, stirring and cooking it for about 1 minute to infuse the flavors.
- Pour in the wine to enhance the depth of taste.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and the chicken broth or water to the saucepan. Toss in the bay leaf and allspice. Tie the parsley stems together with a string and place them in the sauce for added aroma.
- Cover the saucepan and let the meat simmer gently until it becomes tender, which should take approximately 1.5 hours.
- As the simmering nears completion, season the dish with salt and pepper according to your taste.
Prepare the Orzo:
- In the meantime, heat another pan, add 5 tbsps of olive oil and the orzo pasta and sauté, until golden.
- Transfer the orzo to a baking dish and place the boiled, braised beef on top.
- Remove the whole vegetables (onion, carrot, and leek) from the sauce in the saucepan. Pour the sauce over the ingredients in the baking dish, ensuring that it covers the orzo. If the liquid has reduced during simmering, add boiling water until it reaches approximately 3 cm above the barley.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C/338°F (on the bottom rack) for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake it in a convection oven at 160°C/320°F (on the middle rack) for 20-25 minutes. Give it a gentle stir in between.
- If desired, sprinkle with kefalotyri or any hard yellow cheese toward the end of baking.
- Serve the casserole almost immediately after removing it from the oven, ensuring it is enjoyed while it’s at its most flavorful.
- The suggested beef cuts for this recipe include olive, bone-in or boneless, and saber heart.
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