This recipe originally by Mary Cadogan, is based on a Greek classic. It’s made using Orzo, a widely available small rice sized pasta, which is used in place or the original Greek ingredient; Manestra.
It’s an easy recipe but takes a while to cook, however the flavoursome and tender lamb makes it all worthwhile
- 1kg shoulder of lamb
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried if you don’t have fresh)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1.2l chicken or vegetable stock, hot.
- 400g orzo
- freshly grated parmesan , to serve
- Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
- Cut the lamb into 4cm chunks and 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.
- Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock, cover tightly, then return to the oven for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is very tender.
- Remove the cinnamon sticks, then stir in the orzo.
- Cover again, then return to the oven and bake for a further 20 mins, stirring halfway through.
- The orzo should be cooked and the sauce thickened.
Serve, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with fresh crusty bread (like Soda Bread).
This recipe can be frozen, just cool and freeze after step 4 and defrost and return to a casserole dish, gently bring to a boil (adding some water if it looks a little dry) and restart at step 5.