A favorite traditional Greek dish. This recipe comes partially from my mother’s personal cookbook and her precious advice. So prepare yourselves for a genuine Greek dish! You can find many variations of it, you can cook it on the stove in a big cooking pan and divide it in clay dishes to finish it in the oven. Or you can just follow my oven version. If you can’t find veal, use any kind of meat suitable for stew. You can finish it with Parmesan cheese, feta or goat cheese like me. Whatever you do don’t forget to enjoy this delicious and classic combination of fresh veal meat and orzo pasta. You will love it.
When it comes to the proportions, be careful not to let the meat be dry on the pan but also not to put too much water. When you will combine the orzo and the meat in the clay oven dish you will have to add some water so the orzo can cook. If your meat has some juice left this is always good. The extra juice of the meat always gives some extra moisture that the orzo needs. Don’t forget to always add for every cup of orzo 2 cups of water (so 1 to 2) and then it will always work out.
Time Needed: 1, 30 hour, Serves up to 4 people
200gr orzo pasta
400gr veal meat cut in square pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
½ cup of olive oil
½ cup or red wine
80gr tomato paste or 1 cup of tomato juice
some fresh cherry tomatoes sliced
ground black pepper
1 pinch of sea salt
2 cups plus 400 ml water (approximately)
some soft goat cheese for garnish and extra taste
On a medium saucepan on low heat add half of the olive oil and let it shimmer. Add the onion and let it saute for about 3 minutes. Add in the veal and stir it till all the redness of the meat disappears. Give the meat taste with a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper and throw in the red wine. Let the alcohol of the wine vaporise and pour in the tomatoes and tomato paste/juice. Add approximately 2 cups of water and leave the meat to cook for about 1 hour, stirring frequently (add more water if needed).
While the meat becomes tender, on a medium fry-pan add the rest of the olive oil and saute the orzo for about 3 minutes till it gets shiny. Take the meat out of the heat and add it along with the orzo in a rectangular clay oven dish. To be sure about how much water you need to add, just always remember to use with every cup of orzo, two cups of water. So I used 400 ml water.
Put it in the oven and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry if there is some water left when you take it out, the orzo will absorb the rest and become fluffy. If you leave the dish more time than suggested it can be sticky. So always check it during cooking time! If you want add some cheese on top and let it melt. I used some soft goat cheese.