This traditional Greek stew recipe, known as youvetsi (yoo-VEH-tsee), can be made with beef or lamb. The meat is cooked in a rich tomato sauce together with orzo pasta and finished with a heap of grated kefalotyri cheese on top.
If you don't happen to have a covered ceramic baker, don't worry. This dish also can be made in a traditional Dutch oven. The best cuts of beef and lamb to use for this dish are the cheaper cuts like chuck or shoulder that benefit from a long, slow cook.
- 1/2 cup olive oil (divided)
- 3 1/2 pounds beef or lamb (cut into 2-inch chunks)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 large leek (cleaned, trimmed and cut in half)
- 1 large carrot (peeled and cut into thirds)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 to 4 whole allspice berries
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 quart of water
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- Grated kefalotyri cheese or Pecorino Romano
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- In a heavy, oven-safe Dutch oven or deep pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Season the meat lightly with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat until nicely browned about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the browned meat from the pot and set aside on a platter.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil to the pan and sauté the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the leek, carrot, and the wine to the pot and scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom.
- Add the allspice berries, crushed tomatoes, sugar, and a quart of water to the pan. Let it come to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Return the meat (with juices) to the pot. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 1 hour or until the meat is very tender.
- Remove the leek and carrot from the sauce and transfer the meat and sauce to a covered ceramic baker or continue using the Dutch oven.
- Stir in the uncooked orzo pasta and add about 1/2 cup more water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover and place in the oven. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring the contents occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Remove from the oven, remove the allspice berries and top with grated cheese. Cover and allow the dish to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||53 g|
|Saturated Fat||19 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||26 g|
|Dietary Fiber||5 g|