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Greek youvetsi

Serves   4
Prep time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 2 hours

This family favourite takes it's name from the clay baking dish in which it is traditionally cooked – however, the added benefit of the wonderful New Zealand ingredients makes it so good that you can really cook it in anything!!





  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.8kg lamb leg, cut into 4cm pieces
  • 500g orzo
  • 2 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1L Beef stock, good quality
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 150g Feta cheese
  • rind of 1 lemon, thin strips with a vegetable peeler
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • fresh mint to garnish


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and brown in batches over high heat. Transfer to a large, heavy-based casserole dish.
  3. Cook onions, garlic, ground coriander, paprika, lemon rind and chillies until the onions are soft. Add the honey and cook for a further 2 minutes. 
  4. Tip the onion mixture onto the lamb in the casserole dish and stir well. 
  5. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice and 300ml of the stock to the frying pan. Bring to the boil then pour into the casserole dish. 
  6. Cover, place in the centre of the oven and cook for 1 hour. 
  7. Remove from the oven, add the orzo and remaining stock and mix everything together well. Replace in the oven, uncovered, for an additional 25 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. 
  8. Remove the dish from the oven, sprinkle with feta cheese, a little fresh mint and serve in a large serving dish. 

Wine Suggestion: Vidal Reserve Series Merlot Cabernet