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Sunday, 30 September 2007

Yiouvetsi (Γιουβέτσι - roast meat with rice pasta)


Here's a popular Sunday roast dish, an alternative to meat and potatoes. This meal contains pasta (usually in the form of rice), and the meat it is usually served with is the head of a sheep or goat. Sounds a little like offal, doesn't it? This is a delicacy in Crete, even more so since there is only one head, so it's usually reserved for the head of the family. The logic behind the recipe is that in the past when there were no fridges, and not much meat available in poor rural areas, all parts of an animal were eaten in some way, hence the birth of this dish. The idea of pasta in the oven is a recent addition in Cretan cooking; rice and potatoes are more traditional. You may be wondering who is going to eat this in my house; I have also included some other cuts of meat in the tin, so there will be plenty of takers. This meal is at its most delicious when you use free-range chicken meat.


To make this meal, you need to prepare the sheep's head. Put it in vinegar and water to soak for a couple of hours. Then boil it in salted water for about half an hour. Now you can place it in a roasting tin with other cuts of meat, and cook it in the same way as for Sunday roast. When the meat is practically done, add 250 grams of rice pasta along with 3-4 cups of water. The pasta doesn't need a lot of cooking time. Scoop up a serving of pasta onto a plate with a piece of meat on the side. Don't forget the salad!

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MORE MEAT RECIPES:
Avgolemono stew
Sunday roast
Chicken
Rabbit/Hare
Mince
Curried pork chops
Tsigariasto
Stir-fry beef
Souvlaki
Pan-cooked pork chops