Good News and Greek Stew

It seems that there are so many good things going on lately for me and this little blog.  I started this site in 2007 because my younger sister was always bugging me for recipes.  I am so happy that it has become so much more than just a recipe dumping ground!  Only a few days ago I posted about Multicultural Familia a new website and resource for multicultural families.  I am really enjoying being a site contributor and hope you’ve had a chance to visit the site too.  I’ve got a lot more great posts coming up.

If you’re a Facebook fan or Twitter follower you will know that I am also a new contributor to American Muslim Mom.  I am just in awe right now of all these opportunities coming my way.  When Ponn asked me if I would be interested in writing for her site I was a little intimidated but soon realized I do have a lot to say that I don’t always feel belongs here.  Contributing posts to American Muslim Mom about being a Muslim mom working outside the home and about raising boys is offering me a chance to talk about things I am passionate about without cutting into the food time I share here.  I really encourage you to join me there if you’re interested in these topics.  Ponn has gotten together a great group of Muslim moms to talk about a wide range of topics and I know that it is really going to be great.  Stop over now to hear interviews with all the new contributors (including me)!

Now back to the food….

Have you noticed that it’s Balkan’s week around here?  I don’t know what it is but I was making Greek food and Lana was guest-posting so ultimately I think you’re the winner!  For me Greek food is summer food.  Maybe it’s because I went to Greece in the summer and so the correlation is always there.  Yiouvetsi and orzo was, at first bite, one of my favorite foods – ever.  Paired with a fresh and delicious Greek salad I always ordered this meal when it was available.   The taste that always stands out in this meal is the tomato, both in the yiouvetsi and the salad.  Fresh, sun ripened fruit, fresh in a cucumber, tomato, olive and feta salad drenched in really good olive oil and sea salt.  The same tomatoes combined with garlic and tender beef over al dente orzo made was simply a meal  from heaven.  You can make it at home easily too.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (2 kg) beef short ribs (any beef will work, this is what I had)
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped finely or crushed
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c (8fl oz) of tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c (3-4oz) cherry juice*
  • 2 tsp white vinegar*
  • 2c  (16oz) water
  • 2 c (750g)  orzo
  • grated cheese for topping

*traditional Greek Yiouvetsi is made with red wine.  As we do not drink or use wine in cooking this is my substitute.  If you prefer to use wine 1/2c should do the trick.

Directions:

I made this in a pressure cooker, but you can use a heavy bottomed pan instead.

  • In the bottom of the pressure cooker add the olive oil and brown the meat on medium high heat.  Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the oregano, orzo and cheese.  Cover pressure cooker and cook for 45 min – 1 hour.  Release the pressure and open.  Check the tenderness of the meat.  It should be falling off the bone.  Stir in the oregano at this point.  You should have a medium thickness sauce left over.  If there is too much water continue cooking uncovered until sauce reduces.
  • Boil 5-6 cups of water separately and add orzo.  Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente.  Strain excess water and reserve to serve.
  • To finish the dish, spoon orzo at the bottom of the plate, followed by the meat and sauce on top.  Sprinkle or grate with a good Greek or Italian cheese such as kefalotyri, parmigiano, pecarino or romano.

Don’t forget your Greek salad on the side!!!

 

I removed the bone and chopped up the beef before reducing sauce.

 

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