Easy Lamb Youvetsi : Greek Lamb stew

Easy Lamb Youvetsi : Greek Lamb stew

Here is another absolute crackling winter warmer one pot meal. I love making stews and broths for winters. It just gives you that comfy and fuzzy christmassy feeling with a bowl in your hand, woolen socks and christmas movies on Netflix. If you like mediterranean food, you love my Moroccan lamb stew and my Lebanese Mujadara to accompany any stew or curry dish.

Today’s recipe is a greek lamb stew called Youvetsi. A family favourite of lamb cooked slow with vegetables and any small pasta or noodles, preferably orzo.

I have used orzo, potatoes, carrots and green beans. Usually one should add red wine, but i have stayed away from it and added chicken stock to cook the stew and pasta. So lets dive in this easy peasy family dinner just right for the winters. Orzo is a small pasta which looks like a plumpy version of rice. It works wonderfully with stews as it just creates a real melty flavour with the meat and vegetables without tasting only past in your mouth. You can also replace it with rice or large couscous in your recipe.

Ingredients

  • 350 gms boneless lamb. I used the lamb neck which is very soft and tender
  • 3-4 potatoes medium size roughly cut
  • 2-3 carrots medium roughly cut
  • handful of green beans cut in half or thirds
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 medium cloves of garlic. Grate or pound the garlic for the stew
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 can of tinned tomato in juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree or paste
  • 500ml of low sodium chicken or lamb stock
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 3-4 stems of fresh thyme or 1-2 tsp of dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to cook and drizzle
  • Coriander to garnish (Optional)
  • Feta to garnish (Optional)

Method

  • In a large skillet or casserole dish add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the bay leaves and diced lamb and brown it on all sides for few minutes.
  • Once the lamb is brown add onions and garlic and roast for few minutes.
  • Add the diced carrots and potatoes and roast it for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add oregano, paprika and thyme and mix well together.
  • Add the tomato paste/puree and mix well. Add the can of tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add half of your stock. Mix, season with salt. Cover the lid and pop into a preheated oven at 200 C fan for 45 minutes.
  • Ensure you have enough liquid which will help it to stew the lamb well.
  • If you are using a slow cooker or crockpot set it for similar time or as per instructions.
  • After 45 minutes check the stew specifically the lamb. Now add orzo, green beans and honey. Mix well to spread it in the casserole. Add the remaining stock. Remember orzo will absorb lots of liquid so ensure you add more water if you think its less even after adding the stock. Cover the lid and pop back in the oven. I reduce the temperature to 180 C and cook for another 30 min.
  • Remove after 30 min and check if its cooked well. Let it rest for atleast 20 min outside.
  • To garnish, crumble some feta, finely chopped parsley or coriander.
  • Serve on a plate with tzatziki and some greek green salad.

Tips : If you have tough cut of lamb or you like your lamb really well done, you can cook the lamb first separately for 20-30 min before starting on the stew.

For vegetarian options, skip the lamb and add more vegetable like more root vegetables and mushrooms. Use vegetable stock.

I loved this amazing all inclusive meal which has carbohydrates, protein, lots of vitamins and nutrients. Serving with cold tzatziki or any dip of fresh yogurt and a very scrumptious greek salad of tomatoes, onion, tomatoes, rocket and feta with olive oil, lemon and oregano dressing.

I am keen to hear if you try this and how it turned out. Love to hear any more suggestions for one pot meals for winters, Iam always on the lookout for trying new recipes.

Until next time, eat healthy.

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