Monday, September 27, 2010

Giouvetsi/Youvetsi with minced pork (Greek-Cyprus Recipe)

Recipe for 4-6 people

300g. minced pork
1.5 cup orzo
1 large onion, chopped
1 can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon dried mint, crushed
1/2 cup grated halloumi cheese
3 cups water
B├ęchamel sauce:
1 litter fresh milk
5 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
7 tablespoons of flour (all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper, powder
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large pot add the olive oil and let warm at medium heat. Add meat and stir with a fork continuously until it becomes granular. Add the onion, salt, pepper and cinnamon and stir for 3 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the orzo and stir to combine with other materials and absorb the liquids in the pot. Add the tomato sauce and continue stirring.
Reduce heat, add the water and stir occasionally. Leave on low heat without lid to absorb half the water. When half the water is absorbed, remove the pot from heat.
Grease and flour a rectangular baking dish. Add to this the orzo mixture and put aside until you prepare the b├ęchamel sauce.
In a medium pot, add the butter to warm up and melt, but not burn. Add flour and stir to "cook" it until it changes a little its colour. Remove the pot from heat, and pour the milk little by little, stirring rapidly with an egg beater to prevent clotting.
When milk is completely combined with the flour, place it back on the heat and stir continuously. If you stop stirring it will clot, therefore you need to constantly stir until it looks like velvet.
As soon as the sauce start to thicken, decrease heat to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot. Let it get bubbly and remove from heat. Your sauce should be thick but not too thick (something in between). Remove from heat and add pepper, nutmeg and Parmesan and mix well.
Pour evenly the sauce over the orzo mixture and sprinkle with halloumi and mint. Bake in preheated oven at 200oC for 20 minutes until golden-brown on top. Serve hot. Enjoy!