Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(156 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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  • 1kg shoulder of lamb
  • 2 onions, sliced



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

  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano, or 1 tsp dried



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

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    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 is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  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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27th Nov, 2012
I made this recipe when I had friends visit, it was absolutely gorgeous with such unusual flavour.
26th Nov, 2012
Lovely and easy, fantastic success!
4th Nov, 2012
This was gorgeous - even though I forgot all about the parmesan until the morning after! I bought the orzo in Asda. The shoulder had the bone in but my lovely husband cut all the meat off for me. Will see if I can buy this meat ready prepared in future because I am definitely cooking this agin.
2nd Nov, 2012
Can anyone tell me please - Is the lamb boneless shoulder? Or bone in chopped up? Thanks!
24th Oct, 2012
I have cooked this dish twice. 1st time I found it a bit dry & the 2nd time I tweaked the recipe & it was delicious. I only used a 1LB of Lamb as I cook for the 2 of us. I mixed the lamb with a couple of teaspoons of Mrs. Balls Original South African Chutney then left it for a couple of hours before proceeding with the recipe. At stage 2 of the recipe I added a jar of Al'fez Apricot and Coriander Authentic Moroccan Tagine Sauce & I only used 1 pint of Bouillon Vegetable stock. For us this dish turned out to be delicious the 2nd time around & I will be cooking this dish again.
28th Sep, 2012
Best dish in the world!!! Easiest and tastiest meal ever how i love greek yvetsi! i couldnt find my greek recipe so tried this but put some red wine in and a little water in with the lamb and onions etc when cooking it for the suggested time of 45 mins as this is what i do with all my meat and it didnt disappoint the meat was sooo tender...def make this meal and save loads for the next day it tastes even better
19th Sep, 2012
Made this with leftover barbequed lamb (still pink inside), and cooked the dish on the hob. Cooked the onions etc first, added the lamb with the tomatoes and stock and reduced the cooking time. Loved how the orzo turned a liquid sauce into something substantial, and it tasted fine, but neither husband or I would hurry to have this again. Judging from other reviews we're in a minority - perhaps the longer cooking time and raw lamb are the way forward for this dish. It does work with cooked lamb, but definitely not a 5 star dish.
27th Aug, 2012
Great dish - cooked it loads Orza hard to find (I thought it was a spelling mistake but Ouzo just doesn't do the trick!). You can sometimes find it in Tescos but alternative small pasta shapes will do - Semi Di Melone from my local Deli (Matta's) works fine. I also add mushrooms and bacon. I intend making it with Aubergines as a veggie alternative but not got beyond the meat counter so far.
12th Aug, 2012
Love it! Easy & so tasty - loads left to freeze to. Really liked it with the salad too
2nd Aug, 2012
I tweaked this receipe slightly. I put a little crushed garlic, ground cumin and corriander powder and chilli flakes for the heat and found it brought the flavours out of the lamb. i also garnished with fresh corriander. Delcious except next time i'd use less cinnamon. My one year enjoyed it too.


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