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Moshari yiouvetsi (veal and pasta casserole)

Moshari yiouvetsi (veal and pasta casserole)
Los Angeles Times

Greek cuisine, so often characterized here in L.A. as kind of, you know, "Mediterranean," is a unique blend of ancient, Byzantine, Baltic, Turkish and Venetian influences. And if you look a little more closely at some of Greece's best loved ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 pounds veal stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 -inch cubes
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups strained or canned pureed tomatoes
  • 2 cups veal stock
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1/2 cup grated mizithra cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion

Step 1Season the veal with 1 teaspoon salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper. Brown the veal in several batches in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy 5-quart pot, adding additional oil during browning if needed. As the meat browns, remove it from the pan and keep warm.

Step 2Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 to 2 more minutes.

Step 3Stir in the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Stir in the strained tomatoes, 3 cups water and the veal stock.

Step 4Add the browned veal with any drippings back into the pot. Bring to a boil. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 5Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and one-half teaspoon pepper. Cover and bake 1 hour.

Step 6After an hour, add the orzo, stir to combine and bake about 25 to 45 minutes (depending on the pot used) or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring after 5 minutes and then stirring 3 or 4 more times during baking to prevent the orzo from clumping.

Step 7Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the grated mizithra cheese.

Step 8In a small bowl, combine the chopped mint, parsley and green onion. Serve hot or at room temperature, passing the chopped herbs for sprinkling on top.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Cosmas Kapantzos. Yiouvetsi is the name of the clay pot traditionally used to bake meat and pasta casseroles in Greece. Mizithra is a sheep or goat cheese similar in flavor to Romano cheese and is available in Greek markets.


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