Kleftiko is good


So I posted a photo a while back of a lamb leg all ready to go into the oven to be kleftikoed. Unfortunately, the finished product didn’t last long enough for me to take any photos! So I have tried again.


Kleftio is a delicious Greek lamb dish. It translates as ‘stolen lamb’, traditionally cooked in paper in the ground to avoid giveaway smoke from a fire. With garlic, lemon and lots of oregano, the flavours are simple but work perfectly together.

1 shoulder of lamb

2 tbsp dried oregano

1 lemon, halved

4-5 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Salt and pepper to taste

I cooked my kleftiko in a clay cooker (soaked in cold water for 20 minutes), you can use a cast iron pot with a lid or a roasting pan covered with foil.

Put the lemon and garlic under the lamb, and coat the lamb generously with the oregano, salt and pepper. You don’t need to add any liquid to a clay cooker, but may need a little for cast iron or a roasting pan. Water is fine.

For a clay cooker, put into a cold oven and turn on to 140ºC. You can preheat the oven for cast iron and roasting pans.

Cook, covered, for 6 hours. Shred the meat and serve with roast veggies. I cooked a few Yorkshire puds as well! You can keep leftover cooking liquid in the freezer for stock.