Monday 20 April 2009

Kleftiko for Greek Orthodox Easter

ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ! Which I have reason to believe means Happy Easter in Greek. Now, you know how I love appropriating other people's holidays, so I thought I would extend the Easter love and do something Greek to commemorate Easter in the Greek community.

I made tsoureki once years ago and the red eggs exploded in the oven and it didn't rise very well, so I decided to play it safe and make kleftiko. I hope that it is recognisable to the knowledgeable as kleftiko...


1 shoulder of lamb, on the bone
8 cloves of garlic, peeled but whole
1 tbs dried wild oregano
2 tbs olive oil
1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 130C. Put 2 very long sheets of greaseproof paper at right angles in a medium sized roasting tin (you are making a parcel, so you want the paper to enclose the meat completely) and sprinkle it with half of the oregano and half the olive oil.

Put the lamb shoulder into the tin. Squeeze the lemon over the meat and tuck the squeezed halves into the tin. Put the cloves of garlic around the meat. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, the rest of the oregano, the olive oil and a goodly amount of salt and pepper.

Fold the paper up into a parcel, leaving some room for air to circulate.

Seal the parcel with a wooden clothespeg.

Put in the oven and leave for 5 hours.

The meat falls from the bone in sticky, tender shreds. I made a sort of sauce from 100g feta, mashed, 1/2 clove of garlic, chopped, 1/2 tsp chopped chilli and the juice of a lemon, which I sort of blobbed on the side. I also sauteed some baby courgettes with garlic and tomatoes, and zapped some mangetout in the microwave.

Serve with the best red wine you can muster - which in this case was a 2002 Gartelmann's Merlot, from the Hunter Valley in NSW. This wine has been through several house moves with us, and is drinking extremely well now. Light, still quite fruity, delicate but with enough oomph to get through the feta and chilli. It warranted getting out the good glasses.


Bettina Douglas said...

when I did roast lamb for Easter my guest (who had a vaguely similar education to me) said she did not know that lamb was considered an Easter meal.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Yes, well she also celebrated her birthday on the wrong date for 18 years, maybe her parents were sheltering her from Easter, too!

kat said...

Yum, That soulds & looks so good

Peter M said...

Nicely done, Cat. How timely that you had lamb recently, what with it being Greek Easter yesterday.

This would satisfy many Greeks I know.

Heather said...

I agree - appropriating other people's holidays is where it's at. Lovely lamb roast.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Kat - it was. The leftovers in pita bread with tzatziki was lovely too!

Peter - I am pleased to hear it! Hope you had a lovely day yesterday.

Heather - why stick with just ours? The food isn't very interesting.

MrOrph said...

Now that's a good looking Easter lamb!

Sarah said...

My mouth is watering. Is there any more perfect combination of flavors than lamb, lemon, garlic, and olive oil?

Alicia Foodycat said...

MrOrph - thanks!

Sarah - oh I know! Heaven!

Sam said...

I just love shoulder of lamb, this looks beautiful. I hope you had a good Easter!

Just Cook It said...

Kleftiko brings back such happy memories. I've only ever had it once and still haven't got round to cooking it but it looks fabulous

Alicia Foodycat said...

Sam - I had a very nice Easter and a very nice Coptic Easter, thank you!

Alex - you really should make it. It is very simple and very rewarding!


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