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GIOUVETSI (OVEN BAKED BEEF WITH ORZO)

4-6 Servings
Preparation: 15 minutes - Cooking: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Giouvetsi - Oven baked beef with orzo (Greek Recipe)

INGREDIENTS
1200 gr. beef neck, cut in to 2 cm cubes
2-3 large onions, sliced
2 carrots, cut into 1 cm. slices
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
250 + 750 ml water
150 gr. red wine
250 g orzo, medium sized
1 tbsp sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
olive oil, for sautéing
salt, pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
crumbled feta cheese or grated pekorino cheese for serving

DIRECTIONS
Place a pot over high heat and add 3 tbsp olive oil. Add onions and carrots and sauté until nicely caramelized (about 2 minutes). 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 meat. Brown for 4-5 minute.
Add the sautéed vegetables, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cumin and tomato paste. Sauté for 1-2 minutes and add the wine. Let it evaporate. Add sugar, 250 ml water and 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. Preheat oven to 180o C and add 750 ml water and orzo to the dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
When ready, remove from oven. Let it rest of 10 minutes, sprinkle with cheese, serve and enjoy!

Just some notes
1. You can prepare Giouvetsi using a roaster. You just add all the ingredients in the roaster and at the end you add the orzo. A quicker way is to cook meat using a pressure cooker and then tranfer it to the baking dish and add orzo.
2. You can other kinds of pasta like noodles, penne or spaghetti.