Lamb Kleftiko Recipe

5 hours


Lamb kleftiko

  • 1 leg of lamb, 1.2-1.5 kgs (you can always use shoulder too, or both)
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 bunch of oregano, fresh, chopped or 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1kg floury potatoes, such as Charlotte or Estima
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 175ml of white wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil


The day before cooking, take a small paring knife and make approximately 15-16 incisions into the flesh of the lamb. Smash the garlic bulb with the palm of your hand and peel the garlic gloves. Slice each clove in half and then insert each sliver into the incisions
Season generously with salt, pepper and oregano and place into a freezer bag. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil into the bag along with juice from one lemon and shake and rub all over. Leave overnight in the fridge
The next day, preheat your oven to 140°C/gas mark 1
Remove the meat from the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature. Take a large roasting tray and line it with two lengths of strong foil, lying them over each other to create a cross. Wash the potatoes, quarter them and spread evenly on the bottom of the tray, along with the bay leaves. Place the lamb on top of the potatoes and drizzle everything with another splash of olive oil and the white wine
Juice and zest the second lemon and drizzle over the top of the lamb. Pull the edges of the foil together to wrap and seal, trying to leave some space above the lamb for steam to circulate
Place in the oven and leave to slowly braise for 5 hours, after which time the meat should be falling off the bone. Spoon a generous serving of potatoes on a plate, place the shredded lamb on top and drizzle over the tray juices. Eat with a nice Greek salad as accompaniment