For our most recent dinner party, my friend Ciara helped me make youvetsi, a classic Greek stew that uses meat, orzo, and Greek tomato paste (which has the perfect consistency and flavor). It comes to no surprise that Ciara can easily whip up such an authentic dish: ever since she married into a Greek family, her Greek cooking skills have skyrocketed. She’s already a natural in the kitchen, and she’s proven that her cooking capabilities can transition to any type of dish and cuisine.
Traditionally made with lamb, we opted to use beef shoulder for our recipe. Because it cooks for a long time and at a low temperature, we were able to go for a cheaper cut of meat and still have it turn out incredibly tender. This was also my first time using orzo, a short-cut pasta that resembles rice.
While it’s known to be a stew, the consistency of youvetsi is more comparable to an Italian risotto. We presented the plates with a side of feta cheese to allow our guests to sprinkle it on their serving. It was quite the honor when Ciara’s husband took his first bite and immediately gave his seal of approval.