Greek giouvetsi / beef stew with orzo pasta

Greek traditional giouvetsi is actually a red sauce beef stew that is then cooked with orzo pasta in a dutch oven/roaster. It is the ultimate comfort food and perfect for a nice Sunday lunch!

You could also cook the beef the day before and save some time.


  • 1 kilogram beef meat cut in small cubes
  • 1 dry onion
  • 680 grams slight concentrated tomato juice
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 2 pimento balls (μπαχάρι)
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • Salt/pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 500 grams (3 cups) orzo pasta (kritharaki)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 200 grams grated salty cheese like Greek Kasseri or Kefalotiri, if you don’t find any you could use a cheese like Regato


  • Sauté the meat with the onion in a pot of with the olive oil.
  • Add the wine and let the alcohol to evaporate.
  • Add the tomato juice, oregano, basil, carrot, celery, sugar, cinnamon, pimento, salt and pepper and 1.5 liter of water.
  • Simmer in low heat with closed lid for 2 hours. Add boiled water in the process if needed.
  • Add orzo in a ceramic casserole pot with a lid.
  • Add the already cooked meat.
  • Measure about 7 cups of the meat sauce. If the sauce is less, add boiled water.
  • Add the butter and stir.
  • Close the lid and put the casserole in the oven 180C for 1/2 hour with closed lid.
  • Remove the lid, add the cheese, put in the oven for another 10 minutes and it’s ready!


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