Lamb and orzo (Arnaki yiouvetsi me manestra)

Lamb and orzo (Arnaki yiouvetsi me manestra)
3.9/5 rating (8 votes)


  • tomatoes: 1 kg, ripe
  • lamb: 1½ kg (shoulder), cut into portions
  • garlic: 6 cloves, finely chopped
  • olive oil: ½ cup
  • bay leaf: 1
  • tomato puree: 1 tablespoon
  • orzo: 500g
  • onions: 2, finely chopped
  • butter: ½ cup
  • salt a bit
  • pepper freshly ground


  1. Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds and then grate them on a box grater. Rinse the meat and dry it, then add salt and pepper. Put it in a clay baking dish with a cover and add the garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, bay leaf and tomato puree dissolved in a bit of warm water.

  2. Cover the dish and cook at 180οC for 1½ hour. Sauté the onions in the butter for 2-3 minutes until they wilt. Remove the baking dish from the oven, add the orzo, onions and hot water. Continue to cook (with the cover on) for 1 hour more. Add hot water if necessary.


This is the traditional yiouvetsi of Greek family Sunday lunches. Generations have grown up on this dish, and it continues to be a favourite. You can also try it with veal or chicken instead of lamb.