Youvetsi (Greek Beef and Orzo)

This is our cozy go-to Greek food in the winter. Youvetsi is an iconic dish for Sunday supper. This stew is traditionally made in small, brown clay baking dishes (that’s where it gets its name). It makes for a fun rustic dinner party. your guests will go crazy for it!

Youvetsi (Greek Beef and Orzo)


  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup Fancy Peasant GEVOO, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, diced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound uncooked orzo
  • 6 cups boiled water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly grated pepper, to taste
  • ½ tspn. ground cinnamon if you Fancy, many don’t


  1. Bring the beef to room temperature and pat dry.
  2. Set a deep pot over high heat and add ½ cup of your GEVOO. After oil has heated, add the beef cubes (4-6 at a time) and sauté until all sides are properly seared and golden. Remove and set aside (NOTE: it’s important not to crowd your pot or else your beef will boil instead of brown and crust)!
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add your onion, leek and carrots. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add beef broth, crushed tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, sugar, reserved beef and its juices; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook until sauce is thick and meat is tender (melts in your mouth) about 1-1 ½ hours.
  5. When almost done, preheat oven to 400 °F (and put a large Pyrex in the oven to preheat during this time), and boil 6 cups of water.
  6. Remove Pyrex from oven. Add orzo to Pyrex, and gently pour your stew over the orzo. Add boiling water and season with sea salt. Stir to combine.
  7. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes until orzo is just cooked. Remove from oven; rest at least 15 minutes before serving (this will allow the stew to to drink up the rest of the stewy liquid).
  8. Serve with grated Greek kefalotyri tiri (cheese), if desired.