Manestra (Meat with Orzo)

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Copycat, Ethnic, Food Blogging Event, Food Porn, Recipes

Manestra is one of my favorite Greek dishes. I didn’t even know it existed until I went to Anna’s a few years ago and Anna herself whipped a batch made with beef, especially for me (her normal manestra has lamb, which I wasn’t fond of at the time). I loved it so much that I ordered it every time I went in. After a while, all that manestra ordering got to be a bit expensive (because, of course, when you go to Anna’s you don’t always just get an entree, right?) and I wanted to learn to make it here at home. This recipe is virtually indistinguishable from Anna’s, and the complex flavors hit the spot every time. I’m making it this week for Presto Pasta Night.


Manestra (Meat with Orzo)
recipe from “The Complete Greek Cookbook” by Theresa Karas Yianilios

1 tbsp. oil
1 lb. beef or lamb stew meat
2 onions, chopped
1 c. tomato sauce or 1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. spearmint flakes (I use about half as much)
4 c. boiling water
1 c. orzo
1 c. grated mizithra cheese (I use a bit less – use Parmesan if you can’t find Mizithra)

Heat oil in large saucepan and brown meat and onions for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add tomato, seasonings, and 2 cups water. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

Add remaining water and bring to a boil. Add orzo. Stir once or twice. Simmer 20 minutes more. Serve hot with grated cheese. Makes 4 servings.

5 Responses to “Manestra (Meat with Orzo)”

  1. Katiez Says:

    I love soup with orzo! The recipe sounds very Greek (I just glanced up and see why) Well done! I can see why you kept going back for it!~

  2. Ruth Says:

    I’m drooling. It’s wonderful and I do think it’s the first Greek Pasta on Presto Pasta Night. Well done. Check back for the roundup tomorrow.

  3. chefjp Says:

    Enjoyed the recipe very much—a hearty dish like this is a good fit this time of the year!

  4. Cynthia Says:

    Let me say it again: I love your food!

  5. Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » Mediterranean Main Dishes Says:

    [...] also did the typical Turkish presentation, which is in a hollowed out eggplant. We served both with manestra minus the meat. Tasty, but it really needed the saucy side [...]

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