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Moscharaki Giouvetsi (Veal with Orzo)

Moscharaki Giouvetsi (Veal with Orzo)

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Moscharaki Giouvetsi is a Greek dish that takes its name from a large earthenware dish called giouvetsi in which it is cooked.   Moscharaki is the Greek word for veal and kritharaki is the orzo pasta which looks like rice and comes in three sizes: small, medium or large.

I do not have one of these big traditional earthenware dishes but do have some smaller ones.

Giouvetsi with veal image

When I was working, I used to cook the meat in a pressure cooker, which takes around half an hour to cook but now I like to cook it in a pot, even if it takes much more time.

When the meat is tender, I then transfer it, together with the sauce in smaller earthenware dishes or in a Pyrex, or baking tins (depending on the quantity), add more water and cook the pasta.

Moschari Giouvetsi picture

I am making a very short and easy post just to tell you that I had a nasty cold all this week that’s why I haven’t been around posting or visiting your blogs. I attempted a couple of times to read your posts and leave a message but after reading a couple of posts my eyes were running with tears so I couldn’t continue. Today I am feeling much better and hopefully I shall start reading your posts again.

Kritharaki orzo image

I haven’t been cooking at all this week and thank God my husband knows how to cook a few meals, otherwise we would starve 🙂   However, I want to share with you a recipe I made last week and which represents Greece.

I made a twist to the classic recipe of Giouvetsi, I’ve been cooking all these years and a much lighter version as I hardly used any oil, I added garlic which I used to avoid before, fresh tomatoes and red wine.

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, created by Ruth, of Once Upon a Feast.

Collage Giouvetsi image

Moscharaki Giouvetsi (Veal with Orzo)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour and 35 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 500 grams of veal from the round or rump
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup of red dry wine
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, peeled and blended
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Water to cover the meat
  • 500 grams of kritharaki (orzo)
  • 6 cups of hot water (about 1 1/2 litres)
  • Dried myzithra or Graviera


  1. Wash, cut and drain the meat.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick sautéing pan and sauté the meat in batches on both sides.  Remove to a platter.
  3. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until translucent and then add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant.
  4. Put the meat back in the pot and deglaze with the wine. Cook for a couple of minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
  5. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, all spice berries, tomato juice, carrot and enough water to cover the meat.
  6. Bring to a boil, cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meat is tender, mixing every now and then.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180o C / 350o (or 160o C / 325o F for a convection oven) and transfer the cooked meat with the sauce into a Pyrex or baking tin.  Discard the bay leaf, cinnamon and allspice berries and add more than half of the hot water.
  8. Add the pasta and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding the remaining water gradually, until the orzo is cooked.
  9. Allow to rest for ten minutes and serve while warm.
  10. Serve with some grated graviera or myzithra cheese on top.

Other similar recipes:

Moschari Kokkinisto

Moschari Lemonato

Moschari Noua (Veal Pot Roast)

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Sunday 12th of October 2008

Hi Ivy, my new Facebook friend.

This giouvetsi sounds delicious! I've never tried veal before but it sounds delicious!


Sunday 12th of October 2008

Ahh! I commented on the wrong post!

Anyway, I hope you feel better. Colds are the worst. I don't blame you for not reading blogs. GET BETTER!


Saturday 11th of October 2008

And PS - glad you are feeling better - it's good to have you back :)


Saturday 11th of October 2008

This looks great Ivy. I have made this dish once from Peter M's recipe, and really liked it.


Friday 10th of October 2008

I too, hope you're feeling better. Thanks for sharing a great dish with PPN and take it easy

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