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Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(145 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 35 mins

More effort

Serves 6
Entertaining doesn't have to equal stress, this spruced up one-pot is perfect for people with little time for preparation

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal696
  • fat36g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre4g
  • protein40g
  • salt0.68g
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Ingredients

  • 1kg shoulder of lamb
  • 2 onion, sliced

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano, or 1 tsp dried

    Oregano

    or-ee-gar-no

    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 1.2l hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g orzo (see know-how below)
  • freshly grated Parmesan, to serve

    Parmesan

    parm-ee-zan

    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut the lamb into 4cm chunks, then spread over the base of a large, wide casserole dish. Add the onions, oregano, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon and olive oil, then stir well. Bake, uncovered, for 45 mins, stirring halfway.

  2. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock, cover tightly, then return to the oven for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is very tender.

  3. Remove the cinnamon sticks, then stir in the orzo. Cover again, then cook for a further 20 mins, stirring halfway through. The orzo should be cooked and the sauce thickened. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with crusty bread.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (208)

stevemaskery's picture
5

It didn't look very pretty, but it tasted delicious. One of my guests pronounced it my "best meal ever" and I've been cooking for them for 25 years!
I did double the amount of cinnamon and coriander and it could have taken more coriander than that. I threw in a handful of chopped parsley at the end, too. I did need to add extra stock with the orzo, but the resultant texture was excellent, like a good risotto.
I served it with the Greek salad suggested in the Tips box, too. Definitely 5 stars.

donnerkebab's picture
5

Excellent dish, fed 7 with crusty bread and salad. Will make again!

HV1's picture

Definitely need the olive oil adds favour. Gave this to Greek restaurateurs, they embraced it and stated it as authentic. All my guests have thoroughly enjoyed it and have taken the recipe. I cooked it exactly to the instructions. It was glorious and so tasty with plenty enough for the next day lunches

brenwilson's picture

Adapted this to use up some left-over minced lamb - browned the lamb in a saute-pan like a bolognese, adding a chopped carrot and celery with the spices, then simmered for ten minutes with the stock and tomatoes before adding the orzo and simmering a further 20 minutes. Oh and I added a couple of teaspoons of ground cumin. Didn't think the parmesan was a good idea, but would have added some feta if I'd had some. Very quick and easy, and very tasty.

jofranks's picture

Great flavours, no need for all the stock.

neezy1911's picture
5

Very good. I slow cooked the lamb on low for 10hrs but added 2 packs of prepared 3 bean casserole packs from Tesco. I took out the carrots as don't like ultra soft carrots but I did boil these up and served separately. Also added more herbs and spice as per the previous comments. Even added the orzo to the slow cooker and it worked really well. Meat fell off the bone, as tender as it could be. It was delish!!

katrinab101's picture
5

Great recipe! Only had around 600g of lamb so used an aubergine to make up the 'meat' content. Worked out very well although probably could reduce the stock as the aubergine released its liquid too. Added 5mins extra time for the orzo. Definitely will make again this way with reduced meat. Like the idea of adding feta too. Fed two adults and three kids - have about another four portions left.

archangelrich's picture
3.75

This was lovely. Doesn't need as much oil as the recipe says - once the lamb gets cooking, there's enough fat from that to keep things from burning. I too would also up the seasoning a bit. I used a mix of chicken and lamb stock (inexplicably I ran out of chicken stock cubes.....). I also found the orzo only needed just over half the cooking time - when I took it out to stir, it had already absorbed most of the liquid, so I left it out of the oven covered for a bit. Will definitely make again though.

mrsbee2389's picture
2.5

Made this for tea tonight, halved the recipe for 2 adults and 2 toddlers and there was plenty to go round. I would make again but would double the herbs and spices at least as they didn't come through. I also won't add any oil in the first stage as lamb is naturally quite a fatty meat, and it resulted in quite a greasy dish.

mollyfaganstar's picture
3.75

Really nice but think I'll add more flavour by sprinkling some feta and more oregano

michelle_30's picture
3.75

Made this tonight for tea........it was very easy to make although the orzo needed slightly longer to cook, also i would maybe double the herbs and seasoning as i think the dish could take it without being overwhelming. With a few teeeks this is a good receipe to try

Frantic Flapjack's picture
3.75

Very easy to make. Made this the day before we ate it. I used less stock (about a litre) and about 225g orzo. The orzo does suck up the liquid so keep an eye on it while cooking. Well received at the table.

localhero's picture
5

This is a family favourite - I halve the amounts which makes plenty for a family of 4 and serve with peas or sugar snaps. The lamb always melts in the mouth!

deedeeandme's picture

Just made this for my Belgian friend's birthday lunch (always a bit nervous and doubtful when I cook for her as she used to be the Chef in her own Belgian Cuisine Restaurant and she's GOOOOOD!). What a success and she was so impressed with the flavours.of cinnamon being added to lamb in a Greek dish!! Cooked this in my slow cooker the day before so the dish had time to develop the flavours overnight and it was beautiful and tender. No problem with finding Orzo as some people have mentioned previously. Here in Portugal it's called "Pevide (Risone)" and my Portuguese in-laws use this alot in their traditional Chicken soup (Canga). Look forward to making this again when Hubby comes home soon. Thanks GF for a successful lunch!!

saschlet's picture
5

To save time I use chopped lamb steaks. I don't bother with the cinnamon stick as I usually forget to take it out (bad idea!), using chicken stock gives a better flavour and I add in frozen peas for the final 5 minutes. I also use 400g orzo but 1l of stock rather than 1.2l.

CalWotty's picture
3.75

This dish was really tasty and quite easy to make. As a very amateur cook i was impressed with he results. Would definitely make it again and maybe add some more veg.

kindabola's picture

The dish was nice but not amazing, which I thought it would be after reading the reviews. I added garlic with the onions and carrots at stock point. However found this dish blend.

studentcook146's picture
5

This was delicious. I have never had orzo before but I agree with most people below, the dish would not be the same without it. For 3 people I used 550g of lamb and added a chopped carrot when I added the chopped tomatoes. I also served it with boiled carrots and broccoli and 2 of the baguettes which you part cook at home.

bubli's picture
5

Made this today and it was finger lickin' good, everyone liked it. Was a bit afraid that it'll be very runny, as after 1.5 hour in the oven there was still quite a lot of liquid left, but orzo soaked it in nicely and the resulting texture was just right.
And it is really no-stress cooking, one just chucks the casserole into the oven and can slack off for almost 2 hours. Plus, there's very little dishes to wash.

r15972's picture

I made this last night and it was rather nice. I think next time I will add a small amount of tomato purée to enhance the tomato flavour. According to my OH this recipe would also work well with hilopites

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Questions (8)

alimay84's picture

Could I adapt this recipe to be cooked in a slow cooker? Thanks

alimay84's picture

Hi, could I adapt this for a slow cooker? Thanks

stevemaskery's picture
5

I don't see why not. I did it long and slow all day and it ended up like a good risotto. I'm sure a slow cooker would be an excellent way to do it, just stir it once or twice.

sbulloch's picture

Hi,

I was thinking of making this for friends on saturday night. As a friend is on a gluten free diet, could I use brown rice instead and add it at the same as I would the orzo? many thanks

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi sbulloch, thanks for getting in touch. We haven't tested this recipe using brown rice so cannot guarantee perfect results. If you do decide to use rice instead of orzo you may want to boil the rice for 10-15 mins or so before adding to the dish as it takes longer to cook than the pasta. Alternatively, cook the rice separately and serve it on the side. Hope this helps. 

cjewing's picture

Lovely. Read the othe reviews and made sure it didn't dry out so kept adding a little more stock as needed. Added an aubergine and some red pepper just to increase veg content otherwise followed recipe and very tasty, will def make again. Maybe a little red wine and garlic next time.

biggsybear's picture

How much stock should be added, I don't understand 1.2l ?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi biggsybear, you will need 1.2 litres in metric which is the equivalent to 2 pints imperial. Hope this helps.

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