Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(157 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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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.
26th Jul, 2012
Excellent! I made the lamb as per instructions and added it to the Aubergine curry with fresh tomato & coriander - it was delicious!
3rd Jul, 2012
Very easy!! I've never been to Greece but I loved this!! I think my lid wasn't tight so a touch dry, I'll add more liquid to compensate next time. Lamb was tender though. I found the Orzo in the third Tesco I tried, in the pasta aisle, I think it depends on where you live as to which branch stocks it. Well worth finding as it gives body and texture. Like a grain on steroids! I made home made Greek bread to go with it (also very easy)x
1st Jul, 2012
Absolutely loved this dish, so easy to make. I used Arborio risotto rice instead as Orzo was very expensive in Sainos, and worked just as well (have had it with orzo previously). lots of compliments from my friends and there were enough leftovers for dinner the next day. yum yum!
21st Jun, 2012
Absolutely loved this, only just finished second portions! The flavours are intense and exciting, work perfectly with the lamb.
17th Jun, 2012
A few problems. The flavours were great but the finished dish was far too dry. I did reduce the amount of orzo as sugeested to 350g. I will try again. Less orzo (300g) and some other tweeks might improve the moisture content. A good dish but not good enough for entertaining in it's present mode.
15th Jun, 2012
Fantastic recipe and now one of my favourites! I did make a few changes, though: I fry the lamb in batches before putting in the casserole pot. Then I fry the onions and 4-5 crushed garlic cloves. Add 1/2 tsp each of red chili flakes and coarse ground pepper, fry for a minute then add the stock (made up with ~300ml dry white wine) and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Pour into pot and cook from there. I also find it is better to put the cinnamon sticks in muslin so they are easy to remove. And as suggested by earlier reviewers, I find that ~300g of orzo is just about right. Thank you, Mary Cadogan!
9th Jun, 2012
We had a crowd round for my husbands birthday earlier this year. We decided to have a cook-off with this recipe (I cooked) and my husband's favourite - chilli (he cooked).......I won! Excellent dish, had left overs next day - tasted even better. Had to use short pasta but it didn't matter. Made the greek salad to go with it too - delicious!
3rd Jun, 2012
Awesome. Went down really well! Used lamb steaks but they worked just as well as didn't want to buy a whole 1kg shoulder. Found orzo by the pasta, not in the "world food" section.
24th May, 2012
Cant wait to try this I have spent 3 months looking for orzo and found it on Bolton Market there is a Greek stall in the inside market near the bus station


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