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"Lamb Kleftiko with potatoes" English

"Lamb Kleftiko with potatoes" English

Elenas shares with you one more traditional Greek recipe this week!

“Kleftiko”, refers to the rustic traditional Greek dish with slow cooked lamb (or other meat) in parchment paper. Juicy and tender lamb with delicious potatoes, this dish is ideal for Sunday family dinners!

“Kleftiko'' literally means lamb “stolen”. This dish has taken its name from the “Klephts” (thieves), that can be translated “into the style of Klephts”. The Klepts have lived in the mountains, fighting against the Ottoman Yoke. So, the Klephts, not having flocks of their own, would steal lamb or goats and cook the meat in hidden underground ovens in order to seal the flavors and smells and avoid being caught!

This dish can be found with vegetables such as onions and red papers but the authentic recipe does not include them.

Preparation time: 10 min 
Cook time: 2 + ½ hours (approximately) 
Portions : 4 portions 


*the authentic recipe does not include potatoes or cheese


This traditional Greek dish takes only 6 steps to make it and these are:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 C.

  2. Prepare the marinade: add the rosemary, garlic, salt, peper, lemon juice, zest and the olive oil in a bowl and mix well.

  3. Prepare the lamb: start by washing thoroughly the lamb and cut into portions (approximately 5-6 cm). Add the meat in a bowl with half of the marinade.

    Tip: Marinate the lamb for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, in order to allow the meat to absorb all the wonderful Mediterranean flavours and aromas.

  4. Prepare the potatoes by cutting them in half and place them in another bowl. Add the rest of the marinade.

  5. Place a piece of aluminum foil in a baking pan and a piece of parchment paper on it. Spread the potatoes and place the lamb on the top of them. Add the cheese and sprinkle with some extra olive oil.

  6. Wrap the kleftiko and bake for about 2 + ½ hours.

    Tip: The secret step to the perfect kleftiko is to unwrap the parchment paper right before it is fully done, turn the heat up and bake for the last 20 minutes until golden and crispy.

Serve this rustic traditional dish with an authentic Greek salad and a cold glass of your favorite Greek beer!

Kali oreksi ! / Enjoy!

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