Lamb is, bar none, the favourite meat of those who consider Wales to be the land of their fathers. It is the quintessential meat and taste of my ancient, proud Celtic nation, which also, as the English would have it, finds itself inhabited solely by ‘sheep-shaggers’ or, to put it more politely, ‘wool-fondlers’. However, as the landscape of New Zealand or the cuisine of Greece suggests, Wales isn’t the only country in the world in which lamb reigns supreme. It is a meat considered by many, including me, to be the perfect balance between flavour and tenderness. Indeed, if you don’t mind my saying so, there are few things which exist on God’s earth as pleasant as the feeling of the freshly braised neck of a young wool-covered ruminant on one’s tongue. Anyway, that’s enough ruminating; too much deep-thought can do catastrophic damage to one’s mind.
I do hope you’re all ready for a little bad news; we, that is my girlfriend’s entire family and I, are off to Spain tomorrow for an enticing two-week break in a small village called Navalmoral. You see, my girlfriend’s brother and his Spanish fiancé, Bea, are getting married next week and we’re turning it into an extended hiatus. Of course, this means that there will be a considerable dearth of literary material for your eyes and stomach to digest and for this I apologise. Still, you have my word that on my return there will be myriad different recipes and experiences about which you shall find yourselves forcibly enlightened. Indeed, there may even be a few hidden surprises lurking up my sleeve… only time will tell. However, in the spirit of ending each paragraph on the theme of mastication, that’s quite enough chewing of the cud.
Since buying my first bag of orzo mere weeks ago my respect for the deceptive pasta has grown exponentially. It turns out that it is the perfect ingredient for both salads and casseroles, since it provides a really seductive and sensuous texture which holds flavour extremely well between the individual grains. The almost floral flavour of the lamb combined with the fruity notes of the red wine couple very well with the structure the orzo provides to bring one’s mouth a deliciously rich and almost spicy sensation. Furthermore, this rather enjoyable taste is only exacerbated by the cinnamon stick and bay leaves – despite the rather balmy weather we are experiencing this really is one recipe not to miss. The idea that we experience relatively cold, wet days in summer here in Britain is certainly one to mull over. The cows will be happy.
Greek Lamb with Orzo
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2-3 bay leaves
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 400g tin of peeled plum tomatoes
• 200ml red wine, a fruity or floral as possible
• A little water or stock, around 200ml
• 400g stewing lamb, preferably neck or neck fillets
• 200g orzo
• Olive oil
• Salt and Pepper
1. Begin frying off the onions in a little olive oil, add in the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the lamb and cook until sealed before tipping in the tomatoes and stock and red wine. The sauce should come up to the top of the meat; adjust the quantity of stock accordingly.
2. After the meat has been simmering for at least 2 hours, preferably 3, reduce if necessary and add the orzo. If the meat is on the bone, as with neck, remove the bones. Cook until orzo is tender, season and serve as soon as possible with parsley and a hunk of bread, though the latter is entirely optional.
Cost: Lamb can be incredibly cheap if one knows what cut goes with what. Please, please don’t buy an expensive cut for this; the flavour tends to be better with meat closer to the bone, so stewing meat or neck meat is the better option. As such, this dish is extremely cost-effective and should set one back a little less than £5.
93 replies on “Greek Lamb with Orzo”
I don’t eat lamb, but I enjoyed this post for its use of the phrase “wool fondlers”
Haha – that one is of my very won invention! I think it’s particularly effective… but how can you not like lamb?
That looks soooooooooo good! Congrats. And have a wonderful time in Spain… I’m sure you’ll let us know all about your culinary findings!
Thanks! I had a great time and there will be much on my culinary findings very soon!
This looks really delicious! I haven’t had lamb in so long, now I want some!
I can’t go for too long without lamb or I get severe withdrawal symptoms!
Lamb. Lamb. Lamb. My favorite. “Forcibly enlightened” — an interesting concept…
I’m glad you agree. Many have been forcibly enlightened in the past… it’s a concept that appears to work rather well, but with much suffering.
A very enticing meal. Picture number two decided my supper for tomorrow.
I do have to add a bit of herb to this organ perhaps and maybe a hint of lemon rind.
Well if you tried it I hope you liked it!
Mouthwatering good! Yummeo!!!!!!!! 🙂
A very hearty dish…looks delicious!
Thanks! It certainly was hearty.
Looks fabulous – love that cinnamon stick floating in there – I am sure that adds great flavor to the lamb! Beautiful dish!
I hope you have a fantastic time in Spain – relax and enjoy 🙂
Thanks! It does indeed! Our time in Spain was simply divine.
Making me hungry! Have fun in Spain, it’s on our bucket list – I’m jealous!
Haha – dreadfully sorry! Oh you simply must visit!
This is making me hungry! Have fun in Spain, it’s on our bucket list I’m so jealous!
So sorry about that :D. You must visit Spain, we go every year and it’s incredible.
Oh that is gorgeous!! Our weather has oddly turned hot….but as soon as it turns back to our usual Pacific North West style weather…..I shall be all over this dish!! Thank you!
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it when your temperature dips a little.
Haha – I was hoping someone would mention that term.
oh that looks so delicious! i love the red color of the orzo!
Thanks! yes, it took on the colour of the juices very well.
woah – this recipe is absolutely dreamy!
Thanks! It was rather delicious – the orzo simply made it.
Lovely post and good advice on the lamb. Enjoy Spain. Avoid the ‘English Breakfast’ so popular on the south coast.
Thanks, Conor! I went nowhere near bacon or the south coast… where I went everything is Spanish…
Thanks be to goodness. Rich culture and huge Arab / European influences in the food as well as most else. I am cooking Trespass Lamb this weekend. More when it posts in a couple of weeks.
Haha – goodness it is, Conor! I shall look it up – I’ve not heard of it myself.
As Autumn starts to beckon and the lambs born in spring reach their prime potential, I am all over lamb recipes at this time of year! This looks so fresh and vibrant.
I hope you have a fantastic holiday and have a lovely time at the wedding! I’m sure you’ll come back with many new inspirations.
Absolutely… such a great, juicy meat. My holiday was wonderful, Juls! You shall hear all about it soon.
Great looking dish…and we agree that orzo is a very useful pasta. Have a great trip!
Thanks! My trip was incredible.
I love slow cooked lamb! One of the most delicous dinners to make, and so so easy! I did so much slow cooking last winter once I discovered how little effort it took – yum!
Indeed, it’s such a great way to cook the best meat :D.
Oh I just love orzo and I would love this dish, I just know it. Have an amazing holiday – I’m very envious!
Thanks! My holiday was truly spectacular! Don’t be too jealous 😀
“[F]orcibly enlightened.” Ha, ha, ha! That lamb looks great, too. Have a great trip!
Nothing like a little forced enlightenment… Thanks, Michelle!
Can you believe I’m not a huge fan of lamb? However, this looks so divine I’m going to make this recipe. Love all the beautiful and fragrant ingredients, so complimentary to the lamb. On a seperate note, you will be missed Frugal! What shall I do without a Frugal Feeding blog post in my inbox?! Can’t wait to see what you prepare when you return 🙂 Have a lovely trip with your family and safe travels!! Karista
You what?! How is that possible? I’m back as you know! It was great 😀
Beautiful photos and recipes.
Thank you very much 🙂
Looks delicious as always! Have a fabulous trip!
Thanks! I tried my hardest and it was incredible (the trip and the food)
Great looking orzo! I have never cooked lamb before, but this seems relatively easy. Have an awesome time in Spain!
Thanks! Really?! You must cook it, it’s amazing!
Yum! This looks incredibly delicious!
I had lamb for the first time last month while I was on vacation when I went to a Thai Restaurant & Satay Bar. It was incredibly flavourful and delicious. I’ll definitely be looking for recipes now that I know I like it to try and this one will be at the top of my list.
Thanks! The first time?! Where have you been? You must eat lots and make up for it!
Yes, only the first time! Now that I’ve had it, I’m definitely looking into eating it more often, it’s super delicious! Unfortunately however, most people in my family are turned off by lamb the second that they see the price for some of the cuts because they see more pricey cuts. Hopefully with a little time and lots of cooking (and eating) of it, they’ll come around and see that it does taste good and doesn’t have to be super expensive!
Awesome! The best cuts of lamb are the cheapest… I hope you convert them…
This looks amazing! I love lamb, but haven’t tried cooking it yet.
Thanks! Oh you must! You must!
That first photo is making me hungry! Have a lovely break!
I’m dreadfully sorry, perhaps you ought to eat 😀
Have fun in Spain. Your dish looks so comforting and tasty. I can’t wait to hear about your culinary experiences in Spain.
Thanks! It was extremely comforting! Stay tuned for Spanish culinary experience!
Spain! Spain?! Oh, I love Spain. I can’t even talk to you right not I’m so overcome with jealousy. If I was talking to you, I’d tell you the dish looks awesome and I play to go out and experiment with Orzo now. I think I could use it well. But I’m not talking to you, so I won’t. Sigh. I wanna holiday.
Isn’t Spain great, Aimee :D. We go there every year. I want to see what you do with orzo 😀
This looks great – I think I’ve had something very like it in Greek restaurants, where it often has little bits of melty feta mixed in as well. So earthy and comforting. Enjoy Spain – I am jealous!
Oh yes, feta would work superbly well!
Love this recipe, and nominated you for an award. Happy Reading! http://funnyloveblog.com/2012/08/22/one-lovely-blog-award-thanks/
Thanks very much! I always appreciate being given these… I shall check it out.
yum!!!! So excited to try this- thanks for sharing!
Thanks for commenting! You must try it, it is utterly mouthwatering.
Wow this looks good. Definitely something for colder weather, but fall *is* just around the corner… Have fun in Spain!!
Thanks, Korena! It’s very miserable here… Spain was great!
This really looks delicious. I like making cold salads with orzo, but I haven’t tried anything heartier like this.
Thanks! Oh you must, it’s simply the perfect ingredient for a casserole such as this.
This is the perfect recipe for your send-off!! Have fun ruminating through Spain.. I’m certain there will some wonderful surprises for us on your return!! We’ll miss you!!
Indeed! Thanks, Barbara – we had a great time… I have a few things I think you’ll enjoy.
Thanks! It was truly delicious.
Ooh hope you guys have a wonderful trip!! 🙂 Enjoy every minute of sunshine because as per usual here in the uk it is rainy, grey and miserable! Bah humbug!!!
It was really fantastic! It is so bad here, been raining since we got back!
Hope you’re enjoying Spain. What a beautiful country. And the food, oh my. Looking forward to hearing all about it right here. As for this lamb–wow. I have the hardest time getting nice photos of dishes like these, but yours are fantastic.
I enjoyed it very much! Thanks so much. There’ll be more Spain news in my next two or three posts!
Aaahhh now we are talking, proper lamb! I know a lot of people find it too rich but fo rme that’s what make sit so good. A great recipe Frugal
Hehe, of course, Claire! I adore lamb – definitely not too rich.
looks delicious! love seeing orzo used.
Thanks. Orzo is surely one of my favourite ingredients!
Thanks! It was phenomenal!
This looks great! I grew up on orzo (risoni in Australia) and lamb. My mum roasted a leg of lamb in the oven, the traditional way, with rosemary and garlic and 10 mins before it was ready to come out she poured in some boiling water, tomato puree and baked the risoni with the lamb. The risoni soaked up all the lamb juices and flavour. I still make this today for my daughter. Orzo is also great in soup…By the way, this is a great looking blog 🙂
That sounds amazing – I’ll have to give it a go. Thanks for commenting – I’m glad you like my blog.
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