Giouvetsi – Oven Baked Beef and Orzo Casserole
1000 g beef, neck, cut in to 2 cm cubes
2-3 large onions
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
250+750 ml water
150 g red wine
250 g orzo, medium sized
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
olive oil, for sautéing
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
parsley, finely chopped, for serving
lemon zest, for serving
Preheat oven to 180* C (350* F) Fan.
Finely chop the onions.
Place a shallow pot over high heat and add 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Add the onions and sauté until nicely caramelized.
Quarter the carrots and chop them in to cubes.
Add them to the pot.
Coarsely chop the leek and add to the pot.
Stir and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they caramelize nicely. Add a little more olive oil, if necessary.
When ready, transfer to a bowl and set aside until needed.
Place pot back on heat and let it get very hot.
Add some olive oil and the cubes of meat. Brown for 4-5 minute.
Add the sautéed vegetables, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cumin and tomato paste. Sauté the tomato paste for 1-2 minutes to help remove its bitterness. This also helps to thicken the sauce.
Add the wine and let it evaporate.
Add the honey, 250 ml water and the can of chopped tomatoes and stir.
Season with salt and pepper.
Lower heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ hours, until the meat is very soft and the sauce has thickened. If your sauce is too thick, add a little more water.
When ready, transfer to an oven proof dish.
Place a pan over medium to high heat.
Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and the orzo.
Sauté the orzo for 3-4 minutes, until golden.
When ready, add it over the meat in the oven proof dish,
Add 750 ml water, some olive oil and fresh thyme. You can add any of your favorite herbs also.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
When ready, remove from oven. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, lemon zest and some freshly ground pepper.
Serve and enjoy!
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