Kreas manestra (beef with orzo)
INGREDIENTS
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. beef, cut into cubes/bite sized pieces (stew meat works)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 can or 3oz tomato paste
  • 8 oz. orzo
  • salt and pepper
  • cheese, for topping
DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat EVOO in large pan/saucier.
  2. Add onions and cook until tender.
  3. Stir in garlic.
  4. Liberally salt and pepper beef.
  5. Add to pan and brown on all sides (add more oil if necessary).
  6. Stir in water and tomato paste.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
  8. Simmer for an hour or as long as you'd like, to tenderize beef.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Stir in orzo.
  11. Cook, uncovered, until orzo is tender and has absorbed almost all of the liquid, stirring frequently.
  12. Top with grated cheese (the best thing you could do is top it with some mizithra, my favorite Greek cheese by far and the one that goes best on pastas and tomato-based sauces)
RECIPE BACKSTORY
"Manestra" is basically the Greek word for orzo. Usually when you say you are eating manestra, though, it means orzo cooked with some sort of meat on the stovetop. It can be made with chicken (and I definitely recommend it be a dark meat), lamb, or beef (kreas).