Giovetsi - Greek Comfort Food

Giovetsi – Greek Comfort Food

Giovetsi is probably my favorite Greek comfort food. There are many Greek dishes that are famous like Moussaka, Souvlaki and Pastitsio but Giovetsi is on a completely different level. There are many different ways to cook Giovetsi. Some cook it in the oven, but I always prefer to cook it in a pot.

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Giovetsi - Greek Comfort Food

What is Giovetsi?

There are quite a few variations of this dish but it is traditionally made with veal, lamb or beef. The meat is slow-cooked in a tomato broth with spices and orzo pasta (the one that looks like rice).

The meat

I usually cook the meat in a pressure cooker* for 1.5 hours. But if you don’t have a pressure cooker, just cook it in a pot until the meat is tender and starts to fall apart, about 3.5 hours.

Giovetsi - Greek Comfort Food

If cooking it in a pot, cook until the meat is very tender and almost falling apart and the sauce has thickened. If your sauce is too thick, add some more water.

I prefer to make Giovetsi with beef (leg, boneless) or chicken. If you cook with chicken, you can halve the meat’s cooking time.

When the meat is ready, remove the meat from the sauce. Let the sauce simmer for another 10 minutes and taste if you want to add a little extra salt and pepper or maybe half a stock cube.

I prefer bouillon stock cubes instead of salt when I cook, but that’s entirely a matter of taste.

Orzo pasta – Rizoni

Orzo – Rizoni* is a small rice-shaped pasta. Usually, Orzo is slightly larger in size than Rizoni. But you can either use Orzo or Rizoni for this recipe depending on what you have at home.

orzo pasta uncooked

I prefer to pre-boil the orzo/rizoni in a pot without a lid. For 500g (1.1 lb) orzo/rizoni, I use 1 litre (33.8 fl oz) of water.

Keep an eye on it and stir so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. When most of the water has evaporated and the pasta is al dente (about 2/3 of the package’s cooking time), add the tomato broth/sauce. Let it cook for another 3 -4 minutes and finally add the meat pieces. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Don’t worry if it looks like there is too much liquid. As long as the orzo is cooked, you’re good. Let the dish sit for 5 to 10 minutes and you’ll find it will absorb some of the liquid.

Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Giovetsi - Greek Comfort Food

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Giovetsi - Greek Comfort Food

Giovetsi Greek Comfort Food

Giovetsi is meat cooked in a tomato broth with orzo pasta.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 6
Calories 646 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pressure cooker or Pot
  • 1 Pot
  • 1 Electrical chopper or blender

Ingredients
  

  • 5 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1000 g Beef (leg, boneless) (2.2 lb)
  • 2 Onions, medium
  • 500 ml White wine (2 cups)
  • 2 Tomatoes medium size ,fresh tomato juice
  • 125 ml Passed tomato (½ cup)
  • 500 ml Water (2 cups)
  • 2 Beef Stock cubes
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sugar or Honey
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 7 Allspice / Pimenta
  • 500 g Orzo / Rizoni (1.1 lb)
  • 1 litre Water (33.8 fl oz) to cook the Orzo/ Rizoni
  • Salt, if needed
  • Parmesan cheese , for serving

Instructions
 

  • Chop the onion.
  • In a electric chopper or blender add the 2 tomatoes to make tomato juice.
    tomato sauce
  • Boil 500 ml water.
  • In a large pot add olive oil and the cubes of meat.
    Brown for 4-5 minute.
    meat
  • Then remove the meat from the pot
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté until caramelized.
  • Place the meat back into the pot and add white wine, tomato juice, passed tomato, boiled water, bay leafs, cinnamon stick, beef stock cubes, pepper, all spice and sugar or honey.
    meat
  • If you use a pressure cooker let it cook for 1½ hour.
    If you use a regular pot: Use the lid on and cook until the meat is tender and starts to fall apart, about 3.5 hours. If your sauce is too thick, add a little more hot water.
    When the meat is ready, remove the meat from the sauce and set aside.
    meat
  • Let the sauce simmer for another 10 minutes and taste if you want to add a little extra salt and pepper or maybe half a stock cube.
  • In a large pot boil 1 litre of water with 1 tsp of salt and then add 500 g Orzo / Rizoni.
    Keep an eye on it and stir so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
    When most of the water has evaporated and the pasta is al dente (7 minutes ,about 2/3 of the package’s cooking time), add the tomato sauce.
    boiling orzo pasta
  • Let it cook for another 3 -4 minutes and finally add the meat pieces.
    making giovetsi
  • Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Don’t worry if it looks like there is too much liquid. As long as the orzo is cooked, you’re good.
    Let the dish sit for 5 to 10 minutes and you’ll find it will absorb some of the liquid.
  • Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Βon appétit

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