Orzo, although grain-like in appearance, is actually pasta. It works well with stews as it adds another texture, and soaks up all the succulent flavours of the broth.
- 4 tbsp (80 ml) olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 kg beef chuck, cut into thick pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) brandy
- 900 ml chicken stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 420 ml orzo
- 1 ½ cups chopped plum tomatoes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Preheat the oven to 190C (375F).
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the beef and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add brandy, chicken stock, and tomato paste and simmer 45 minutes.
- Fold the beef mixture from the pan into a ceramic or clay baking dish. Add the orzo, tomatoes, cinnamon stick, ground cloves, and bay leaves to the baking dish, then stir well.
- Cover with aluminium foil and place baking dish in oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the beef is cooked. You may need to add more stock to the dish periodically.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and feta.