Authentic Greek Youvetsi by Eatwith host Christina in Los Angeles, California

Eatwith host Christina is a professional chef, cookbook author, and journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Her Greek-American heritage inspires her to cook traditional Greek recipes for her guests, and she often returns to Greece to continue her discovery of local traditions and delicacies.

Youvetsi is one of the most comforting Greek dishes, consisting of slowly braised meat in tomato sauce with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. In Greece, you’ll often find it made with lamb, but Christina likes to use bone-in short ribs for her Eatwith dinners.

Book your seat to try Christina’s youvetsi at her table.


Serving Size: 4–6

2–3 kilos boneless lamb shoulder or beef short ribs (about 1/2 kilo per person — if you use boneless short ribs reduce the amount of meat you buy by half)

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon (or more) olive oil

3 celery stalks, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon cinnamon, or two cinnamon sticks

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

500 ml red wine

170 grams tomato paste

800 grams canned, diced tomatoes

1 liter chicken stock



Heat olive oil in the bottom of a 7 or 9-liter Dutch oven, season short ribs or lamb with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. You may have to work in batches.

Remove the meat from the pot and put it on a clean plate. Drain any excess fat. Add chopped onions to the pot and scrape up all the browned bits at the bottom (add a little more oil if needed). Cook onions until soft, then add the garlic. Cook for a minute or so to soften. Add in celery, carrots, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook for another 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes. Add wine and tomatoes and reduce sauce by half.

Add meat back to the pot, pour over enough chicken broth to cover it, and braise in a preheated oven at 325F/160C for approximately 3 hours or until meat is tender. Depending on how rich and thick you want the sauce, you can reduce the sauce by simmering it for longer uncovered, or add more chicken broth and/or tomatoes if you like the sauce thinner.

Serve on top of orzo pasta, rice or mashed potatoes and enjoy!

Check out Christina’s upcoming events on Eatwith, or book her for your next private event or dinner party!

For more recipes from our hosts, read about our other Eatwith recipes on our blog.