A Beef Youvetsi (Greek-style Beef and Orzo Stew) in under an hour with the Instant Pot!
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The Instant Pot helps make this Beef Youvetsi, aka Greek-Style Beef and Orzo Stew, into a quick, easy weeknight meal. It’s a delicious beef stew with orzo mixed in at the end, and it’s ready in less than an hour! You can make it with chicken, beef, or lamb, and all of the directions will be the same. I used beef because I had fresh beef from my brother-in-law’s farm, and it’s so delicious.
Should you get an Instant Pot?
I’m not a big fan of ginormous kitchen gadgets, but you guys convinced me. And it took me a while to get to know my Instant Pot, but I’m so glad we became friends! I bought it in November because I wanted to make a series of videos cooking my more time-consuming recipes. However, I wouldn’t say I like to read instructions, so it was intimidating and took a while to figure it all out. I went with the 8-quart Instant Pot because we’re a family of 7, and I cook large batches. Here’s that link (affiliate) if you’d like to read more about the one I have.
So, the answer to the question is… yes! An instant pot is definitely worth having because otherwise, this stew would take you up to three hours!
This stew with orzo will become a family favorite
- Juicy fall apart beef
- Soft al dente orzo
- Creamy, tangy, melting feta
- Saucy Comforting stew!
What makes this stew so delicious
- Beef shank –shoulder cut into cubes
- Onion –finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Grated garlic –minced garlic would be good if you can’t grate it
- Crushed tomatoes
- Sweet paprika –not the smoky paprika
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Bay leaves
- Dried oregano
- Orzo pasta
- Fresh parsley –finely chopped
- Feta cheese for serving
- Crushed red pepper flakes –we like a little heat with this stew, but omit if you don’t
- Cinnamon –a traditional Greek stew seasoning, but my kids won’t eat it. Try one cinnamon stick or ¼ – ½ teaspoon ground.
How to make Instant Pot Beef Youvetsi
- Add the onion and olive oil to the Instant pot and press the sauté button. Season the onions lightly with a pinch of salt, and cook until soft –about 12-14 minutes. Add the garlic and warm through for a few seconds.
- Next, add the meat, tomatoes, salt, and all of the seasonings except the oregano. Pour a cup of water into the pot and stir everything together.
- Pressure cook the stew for 25 minutes.
- Release the pressure and check the seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Transfer the stew to a large roasting pan. A lasagna pan is perfect. Add the orzo pasta, the oregano, and a teaspoon of salt. Then, add 3-4 cups of water or beef broth.
- Bake (uncovered) in a preheated 400 °F (200 °C)oven for approximately 20 minutes.
- Carefully take the pan out of the oven and stir everything together. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Make the entire meal in the Instant Pot!
You don’t have to use the oven. It tastes better in the oven but if you’d like to make the entire meal in one pot, add the orzo to the Instant Pot after the meat is ready. Then, add the oregano, salt, and about two cups of water. Use the sauté option and cook for about 15 minutes or until the orzo is al dente.
If you’d like more sauce than your dish has when it’s finished cooking, add some warm brother or salted water. We like it medium saucy. Ha! Since your meat, veggies, and pasta are all in one stew, you don’t need much else. However, garnish the stew with parsley, top with feta cheese, and serve it with a nice green salad. You’ll have a delicious beef and orzo stew in under an hour!
- 3 and 1/2 -4 pounds of beef shank or shoulder cut into cubes
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic (5-6 cloves of garlic)
- 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste (plus more for the orzo pasta)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 pound uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- feta cheese for serving
Add the onion and olive oil to the Instant pot and press the saute button. Season the onions lightly with a pinch of salt. Cook until soft and golden 12-14 minutes. Add the garlic and warm through for a few seconds.
Add the meat, tomatoes, salt, and all of the seasonings except the oregano. Pour a cup of water into the pot and mix everything together.
Pressure cook the stew for 25 minutes. Release the pressure and check the seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Transfer the stew to a large roasting pan. A lasagna pan is perfect. Add the orzo pasta, the oregano, and a teaspoon of salt. Add 3-4 cups of water or beef broth.
Bake (uncovered) in a preheated 400 °F (200 °C) oven for approximately 20 minutes.
Carefully take the pan out of the oven and stir everything together. Taste and add more salt if needed. Garnish with parsley and serve with feta cheese and a nice green salad.
The orzo can also be added to the pressure cooker instead of cooking it in the oven. It tastes better in the oven but if you'd like to make the entire meal in one pot, add the orzo to the Instantpot after the meat is ready. Add the oregano, salt, and water. Use the sautee option and cook for about 15 minutes or until the orzo is al dente.
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