Greek Recipe – Youvetsi

Following on from my Pastitsio post a few days ago, I also decided to make another of those great dishes eaten during my times on Kefalonia.

After posting on social media, I received requests for the recipe – so here it is.

Youvetsi is another fairly simple dish to make, just as long as you know the method and have the ingredients.

For 4 people you will require:-

250g Orzo Pasta

500g of cubed lamb shoulder or stewing steak

2 Med Onions (Chopped)

Tin of chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

1 cup of red wine

Cinnamon Stick

1 teaspoon of Sugar

Olive Oil

1/2 whole Nutmeg

Handful of hard cheese (Kefalotyri – or Pecorino, Parmesan etc will satisfy)

Salt and Pepper to taste


Start by heating an oven proof pan or dish, add some olive oil and start to gently cook the chopped onions, you want them softened and translucent, not brown.

Add the meat and brown this off for a few mins.

Add the tomato purée and stir this through, covering the meat, then add the cup of red wine. Allow the wine to heat through for a couple of mins to burn off the alcohol.

Add the tinned tomatoes (Or Passata), cup of water, stick of cinnamon and a good pinch of salt and pepper – then allow this to gently simmer for approx 20 mins.

Take a second pan and heat a tablespoon of oil, to which you then add the uncooked Orzo Pasta. Heat in the oil for approx 2 mins and the Orzo will turn golden in colour, at which point you can add it to the meat and sauce.

Cover the dish (with tin foil is fine) and place in a pre heated (180c) oven for 30 mins. I recommend gently stirring after 15 mins to stop it catching.

Remove the dish and add a further cup of water – return to the oven for another 15mins.

Remove and add handful of cheese – stir through and serve (I added a handful of chopped parsley too) – Ideally with a thick wedge of homemade bread.


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  1. Nope. You have made orzo risotto , not youvetsi, which is baked.

    1. That’s correct Esther – that’s why the recipe states place in the oven, not sure why you thought this wasn’t baked

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