dinsdag 22 oktober 2013

Classic Giouvetsi

http://0.tqn.com/d/greekfood/1/7/6/4/yiouvetsi_499.jpg"Güveç, a Turkish dish made of meat and vegetables and baked in a clay pot, is one of the many treats of Turkish cuisine. The word güveç is derived from an Altaic word for a clay cooking vessel. From Turkey it has spread throughout the region, with slight variations on the name. In the Balkans it is djuvec, in Romania it is known as ghiveci, while in Greece it is called yiouvetsi." (source: TodaysZaman)

The history of Gouvetsi however goes way back since these stews feature already in Mesopotamian cuisine. Khoresh, if you will, is therefor an ancestor.

In Greece Yiouvetsi  are traditional, deep, round, fired clay or earthenware casserole pots originally designed to be used in indoor and outdoor wood-fired oven, the latter in which Greeks would cook all their dishes nice & cosy together. Nowadays
in Greece this social tradition is continued, be it in the local bakery, and in different pots & pans.

"Giouvetsi is a delicious classic Greek baked pasta and meat dish made with either chicken, pork or beef but most commonly lamb. It takes quite a fair time to simmer but that’s what makes it so scrumptious! If you ever walked into a Greek restaurant before, you might have had the chance to step into the kitchen and chose your meal after taking a look at all these simmering stews and pasta dishes. But here’s your turn to make a big fat Greek food party at home! For the record: the cinnamon is crucial. It will make or break this dish…" (source: frugal foodie Great Site!) 

So, here's a great & simple classic recipe for:


Ingredients for 4 persons

1 lb (450 g) pork
3 garlic cloves
1 big onion
½ bottle (375 ml) red wine
1 cup (240 ml) warm chicken stock
1 ½ oz (675 g) canned chopped tomatoes
1 lb (450 g) Greek pasta (orzo)
½ tsp cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 clove (optional)
olive oil

Dice the pork into bite-size pieces.

Peel and chop the onion and garlic cloves. Add a generous splash of olive oil to a high non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic.

Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir regularly. Add the diced pork and season with pepper and salt.


Stir well and turn the heat up a little. Sear the pork on all sides for about 5 to 6 minutes. 

Add half of the red wine, 
the bay leaves and clove (optional).

Cook for 1 minute. 

Pour in the chopped tomatoes. Stir well. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil and then turn the heat low. Simmer the pork for 1 hour. Stir regularly. Gradually add the rest of the red wine.


Check the seasoning and add pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Add the Greek pasta and cinnamon.


Stir well. Pour in the chicken stock and transfer all the ingredients to a large ceramic baking dish.


Bake the youvetsi in a preheated oven at 200°C for 30 minutes. Regularly stir the ingredients. Add extra water if necessary. The pasta will gradually absorb the liquidy sauce and become tender. You should end up with a solid but moist tomato sauce. 

Remove the dish from the hot oven. Transfer the pork, pasta and tomato sauce onto plates. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve piping hot.

Same dish, done fast in less than 12' can be seen here on video (in Dutch)

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