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Greek Lamb with Orzo

This is a truly scrumptious one-pot of meltingly tender lamb and toothsome orzo laced with the earthiness of oregano and the sweet warmth of cinnamon. The dish is quite easy to put together and all the work is done in the oven. Although it takes nearly three hours to bake, therein lies to magic: the slow-cooked lamb emerges so moist and flavorful that only a soup spoon is needed. We served it topped with crumbled feta cheese and a tossed green salad. Hmm, what makes us think there might be a ‘discussion’ over who gets the left-overs tomorrow for lunch?!?

Greek Lamb with Orzo

2 lb. 4 oz. shoulder of lamb, cut into 1¾-inch chunks
2 onions, halved and sliced
1 tbs. chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 tbs. olive oil
14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
14 oz. orzo (2 cups)
feta or grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Heat the oven to 350°F. In a large flameproof dish or dutch oven, combine the lamb, onions, oregano, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, and olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes and stock, cover and cook 1½ hours, stirring once  halfway through, until the lamb is very tender. Stir in the orzo, cover and bake a further 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. (If there seems to be too much liquid, leave the cover off for the last 10 minutes.) Check seasonings and serve sprinkled with cheese.

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