Giouvetsi, or youvetsi is a centuries old dish that was traditionally served as a one-pot meal and in the old days it would have been baked in a home’s wood burning oven. There were also many instances where a home did not have an oven but each village had at least one bakery supplying bread for the guaranteed demand of the villagers. It was quite common for a family to lug the day’s dish over to the bakery and have dish cooked in the baker’s oven…
- 1 kg/35 ounces veal (shoulder), cut into portions (can substitute with other meats)
- 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced (1 cm thick)
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsps tomato puree
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 glass of red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup of Olea EVOO
- 250g orzo pasta (9 ounces) (kritharaki / manestra)
- 100g grated kefalotyri or feta cheese (5 ounces)
- Wipe the meat with paper towels. Heat 1/2 of a cup of Olea EVOO into a pan, add the chopped onions and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes in medium-low heat. Turn up the heat and add the veal; brown the meat on all sides until crusty.
- Stir in the tomato purée and pour in the red wine; wait for the wine to evaporate. Add the tinned tomatoes, a glass of water, the sugar, the cinnamon stick and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for about 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat another pan, add 3 tbsps of Olea EVOO and the orzo pasta and sauté, until golden.
- Place the orzo pasta in an oven tray along with the meat and sauce (remove the cinnamon stick) and mix. Cover the tray with some aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven at 350oF for 30 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil, add a glass of water if needed, and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with some grated kefalotyri or any hard yellow cheese and enjoy!