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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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).
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.
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.
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!
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