Giouvetsi – Oven Baked Beef and Orzo Casserole

Ingredients

    • 1000 g beef, neck, cut in to 2 cm cubes

    • 2-3 large onions

    • 2 carrots

    • 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

    • salt

    • pepper

    • 2 cinnamon sticks

    • 1 leek

    • 2 bay leaves

    • fresh thyme

    • parsley, finely chopped, for serving

    • lemon zest, for serving

Method

    • 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!

Tip

 

  

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