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Greek Beef and Tomato Stew with Orzo (Giouvetsi)
Giouvetsi (sometimes spelled youvetsi) is a meaty, tomato-rich stew flavored with alliums, spices and herbs. The meat for this traditional Greek dish—that often is paired with orzo—is commonly lamb, but Alexandra Manousakis and Afshin Molavi of Manousakis Winery in Crete use beef. This is our adaptation of their recipe. Often the orzo is simmered right into the braise, but we prefer to cook it separately, spoon it into bowls, then ladle on the stew. This way, the flavors and textures are more distinct. Anthotyros is the type of cheese Manousakis and Molavi use for finishing their giouvetsi, but we’ve opted for easier to find feta or Italian ricotta salata. The salty, tangy shreds are a perfect complement to the savory-sweetness of the stew.
large yellow onion, peeled
pound ripe tomatoes, halved