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Lamb Kleftiko with Greek Salad Recipe

Lamb Kleftiko with Greek Salad

Rating 5-0 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again
An Ideal Recipe for EntertainingAn Unusual Recipe

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If I suggested that you seal a leg of lamb in a parcel then roast it long and slow with garlic, lemon and herbs, and potatoes to soak up the delicious juices, do you think you could remember the name Lamb Kleftiko with Greek Salad?

Lamb kleftiko is one of the most popular traditional Greek dishes and you will be hard put to find any decent taverna that does not include lamb kleftiko on the menu. As with most Greek meat recipes, it is the slow cooking that makes all the difference.

Desiree potatoes are normally larger, longer and oval shape and have a firm, creamy tasting flesh making them ideal for smooth mash or being cooked in a sauce. They are available in most grocery stores and are easily recognisable by their lovely red skin and light yellow flesh.

      Preparation Time: 10 Minutes + waiting

      Cooking Time: 5 Hours 20 Minutes

Ingredients for Lamb Kleftiko with Greek Salad

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 6:
6 cloves
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon
½ teaspoon
ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons
olive oil
4lb 4oz
leg of lamb
2lb 2oz
Desiree potatoes
bay leaves
9 oz
natural Greek yogurt
juice from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon
olive oil
fresh mint leaves - shredded
1 tablespoon
red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon
Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
4 oz
baby spinach
  small bunch
red onion
7 oz
cherry tomatoes
3 oz
black kalamata olives


How to Cook Lamb Kleftiko with Greek Salad

  1. Peel the garlic, then crush together the garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of salt using a pestle and mortar. Roughly chop the oregano and the rosemary and zest one of the lemons. Add the herbs and zest to the garlic along with the cinnamon and a few twist of black pepper. Crush the ingredients a little more then stir through 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil.
  2. Using the point of a sharp knife, create lots of slots all over the lamb, and rub all over with the paste, pushing it deep into the holes. Place the lamb in a large food bag, squeeze in the juice of two lemons and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
  3. The following day, take the lamb out of the fridge at least one hour before you want to cook it. While it's coming to room temperature, wash the potatoes (but do not peel them) and quarter them. On a flat worktop, lay 2 long pieces of aluminium foil - one widthways, the other lengthways to form a cross. On top of that, lay 2 long pieces of baking parchment (a.k.a. parchment paper, bakery release paper, bakery paper, baking paper, greaseproof paper or butter paper).
  4. Place the potato wedges in the centre of the parchment and toss olive oil over. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lift up the sides of the foil, then pour the marinade from the lamb over the potatoes and add the bay leaves. Set the lamb on top of the potatoes and scrunch the foil together tightly to completely enclose the lamb in a tight 'pouch'. Lift the whole package into a roasting tin and roast in a preheated moderate oven (Mk 3 - 325ºF - 170ºC) for 4½ hours until the lamb is super-tender.
  5. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and increase the temperature to hot (Mk 7 - 425ºF - 220ºC). Unwrap the parcel and tuck the foil and parchment under the rim of the tin. Baste the lamb with the juices and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes until the meat is browned. Remove the lamb from the tin, wrap in aluminium foil and keep warm. Turn the potatoes over and return to the oven for 30 minutes, then season if required.
  6. While the potatoes are finishing cooking, stir together all the ingredients for the yogurt. Make the salad dressing by combining the red wine vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and freshly-ground black pepper. For the Greek Salad, cut the ½ cucumber lengthways and, using a spoon, scrape out the seeds from the middle, then cut into slices crossways. Roughly chop the parsley, finely slice the ½ onion, halve the cherry tomatoes. If the olives have stones, remove them then quarter the olives. Toss together all the salad ingredients, adding the dressing when you are ready to eat.
  7. Serve the lamb with the potatoes and meat juices, with the Greek salad and the Mint yogurt on the side.

Lamb shank is also ideal for Lamb Kleftiko. This meaty cut comes from the lower end of the leg and it's not only full of flavour it also gets mouth-meltingly tender with long, slow cooking
GRAHAM'S WINE RECOMMENDATION: GrahamI know it's a Greek recipe, but a real flavourful dish like this needs a slightly gamey Rhône or Spanish red such as a Ribera del Duero.
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Reviews of Lamb Kleftiko with Greek Salad

Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again November 23 2014
This went down a treat! A lot easier than it looks. The lamb is so tasty and the potatoes are just divine! Yummy! This was absolutely wonderful. I roasted the lamb using fan and it didn't take nearly as long as stated in the recipe. But I used the same cook times for the post-roasting of the potatoes. The potatoes were lemony and crispy, the lamb succulent and so tasty. I couldn't discard the au-jus - it was just too tasty so used it as accompaniment along with the minty yoghurt. Guests were very impressed, as was I. I served it with the suggested Greek salad. Give it a whirl you wont be disappointed!
(1 review)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again April 06 2014
Is there a sixth star? Best lamb leg recipe ever!! The potatoes were amazing too. Served with salad on a warm summer evening. Perfect
(3 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again December 11 2013
What can I say? Absolutely the best lamb I have ever tasted! I bought a half leg of lamb at my local superstore and asked the butcher to bone it and tie it for me. I followed the recipe to the letter. I cooked it with the potatoes in my fan oven at 130 C for four and a half hours and then 200 C for 30 minutes. My only problem was that the potatoes didn't crisp up enough. In future I may take these out earlier and cook in my upper oven for slightly longer at 200 C. This was definitely a winner with the family and can't wait to impress friends with it!
(1 review)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again August 18 2013
The ideal meal for all people who want to impress their guests with very little effort! What a wonderful recipe this is, we had this for Mothers Day lunch and it was lovely to put everything into the oven and forget about it! The mint dip was glorious too. The only thing I did differently was to take some of the juices which the potatoes are sat in and baste the lamb before I covered it with foil to rest.
(5 reviews)

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