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Giouvetsi or Youvetsis a baked Greek dish made with chicken, lamb or beef and pasta, either kritharaki (orzo) or hilopites (small square noodles), and tomato sauce (usually spiced with allspice and sometimes cinnamon, cloves or bay leaves)[1]. Other common ingredients include onions/shallots, garlic, beef stock, and red wine, as well as some cheese to serve.


  • 1 kg/ 35 ounces veal (shoulder), cut into portions

  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, sliced (1 cm thick)

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

  • 2 tbs tomato puree

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 glass of red wine

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil

  • 250g orzo pasta (9 ounces) ( kritharaki / manestra )

  • 100g grated kefalotyri or feta cheese (5 ounces)


1. Wipe the meat with paper towels. Heat 1/2 of a cup of olive oil into a pan, add the chopped onions and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes in medium-low heat.

2. Turn up the heat and add the veal; brown the meat on all sides until crusty.

3. Stir in the tomato puree 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.

4. Turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for about 45 minutes.

5. In the meantime, heat another pan, add 3 tbsps of olive oil and the orzo pasta and sauté, until golden.

6. 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 180C 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!


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