Worth a second look: same recipe as when I first published this very popular Greek dish back in October 2007 with updated photos today, enjoy!
This is another traditional Greek dish and it’s still often made in an earthenware pot, a kind of glazed terracotta vessel and baked in the oven.
Like many Greek dishes, Giouvetsi is a one-pot meal and in the old days this would have been baked in a home’s wood burning oven. There were also many instances where a home did not have an oven but each village had at least one bakery supplying bread for the guaranteed demand of the villagers.
It was quite common for a family to lug the day’s dish over to the bakery and have dish cooked in the baker’s oven. Afterall, the day’s bread had already been baked & sold and what was the breadman to do with a still burning oven?
In the early 80’s, I was fortunate enough to witness this communal tradition of taking your meal to be cooked off at the bakery. It’s kind of backwards but I wish it still existed today.
There are many variations on Giouvetsi. It’s usually with veal, rooster, beef, rabbit, prawns and it’s accompanied by a Krithiraki (a Greek orzo).
Once again, I employ the use of a pressure cooker to speed up this simple dish. I say simple because the ingredients are quite basic but it’s one of those dishes that tastes way more complex. It’s another testament to using good ingredients.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, one could boil/braise the meat but it will likely take about 90 minutes just to soften your meat. The pressure cooker will cut your time in half. I fill the pressure cooker with the pieces of veal shoulder, enough water to cover the meat and some salt. That’s it!
Giouvestsi With Veal (Μοσχαράκι-γιουβέτσι)
1 1/2 lb. veal shoulder, cut into pieces
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups of krithiraki or orzo
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 cup of pomodoro (jarred tomato sauce)
6 cups of veal, chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Kefalotyri or Romano cheese
- Season your veal with salt and pepper. Pour your water into the pressure cooker and place your veal in. Secure the lid and crank the heat to high. As soon as your seal forms, you will hear the cooker whistling. Turn down your heat to half (medium) and simmer the meat for 30 minutes. Take your cooker off the heat and release the pressure according to mfgr.’s instructions (for those without a pressure cooker, simmer in a covered pot for 90 minutes).
- In a large pot with medium high heat, add your olive oil and your onions, garlic and red pepper and sweat for 5-6 minutes or until the onions have softened.
- Now add your krithiraki and paprika and stir to coat and toast the pasta (for about 5 minutes).
- Add the tomato sauce, and stock (from the pressure cooker) (3 to 1 ratios of liquid to pasta) and bring to a boil while stirring. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Once everything has come to a boil, add your veal, mix well and pour everything into a large casserole dish and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 45 minutes or until most of the liquid has absorbed and your top is golden brown.
- Let stand for 10 minutes and serve in large bowls with freshly grated black pepper and Kefalotyri cheese. Serve with a Naoussa Thymiopoulos red.
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