Karen Wright: Try out my favourite lamb dish – slow cooked Greek lamb kleftico

Former Great British Bake Off contestant Karen Wright shares her recipe for everyday happiness

Friday, 9th April 2021, 4:45 pm
Kleftiko is a traditional Greek recipe made with slow cooked lamb

My favourite lamb dish is a Greek recipe called kleftiko. Kleftiko means stolen. The dish comes from a time during the Greek Revolution when guerrillas called klephts hid in the mountains and, to survive, would steal a lamb from a grazing flock to make a meal. Lamb is the traditional choice for Easter Sunday in many countries. In Greece they roast a whole lamb on a spit.

I took a full leg of lamb, made plenty of slits in the flesh and filled them with slivers of garlic.

Then I rubbed it with olive oil, squeezed lemon juice over it and covered with dried oregano, salt and pepper.

I chopped up a couple of onions into chunks, sliced up a few sticks of celery and placed these into a large roasting dish.

Any root vegetables you have could go into the bottom and this all cooks down and becomes the stock for a delicious gravy.

I also put in with the veg a halved garlic bulb and a quartered lemon, and then placed the lamb on the top.

I then poured about 500ml of vegetable stock into the dish and covered the lamb with foil and tucked it well in.

The dish went into the oven preheated to 180c and cooked for 20 minutes before I reduced the heat to 140c and cooked for about a further four hours.

It is cooked long and slow, and is part steamed and part roasted.

When it was falling off the bone, I removed it from the dish and allowed it to rest while I made the gravy.

I removed the lemon and garlic then blitzed up the contents of the pan with a stick blender and sieved it back into the roasting pan.

I boiled it up on the hob adding a glug of red wine, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of cranberry sauce. Salt and pepper was added to taste and I thickened it with cornflour.

It was gorgeous!

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