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Greek Lamb Kleftiko Recipe

Greek Lamb Kleftiko Recipe

This Greek Lamb Kleftiko Recipe is one of my favourite things to eat in Greece. Spending a lot of time there for most of my childhood you might have noticed I'm slightly obsessed with Greek food and for good reason.

It's my birthday this weekend and so Scott is attempting to cook us this. There are 17 of us!!! Eeeeek... rather him than me. I'm on Tzatziki & Greek Salad.

The Mediterranean 'diet' is thought to be one of the healthiest on the planet and I can see why. They value good protein, delicious olive oil, tonnes of herbs and spices and delicious veggies. They are on to something!

Anyway, you're here to read a recipe...


  • 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) lamb shoulder or leg, bone-in

  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 green pepper, sliced (or we used broccoli & green beans as it's what we had!)

  • 2 tomatoes, sliced

  • 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (optional)

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F).

  2. In a large bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper to create a marinade.

  3. Place the lamb in the marinade, ensuring it's coated evenly. Let it marinate for about 30 minutes to an hour.

  4. While the lamb is marinating, prepare the vegetables. Layer the bottom of a roasting pan with half of the sliced red onions, green pepper, and tomato.

  5. If using potatoes, place them on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.

  6. Place the marinated lamb on top of the vegetables and potatoes. Pour any remaining marinade over the lamb.

  7. Arrange the remaining onions, green pepper, and tomato slices on top of the lamb.

  8. Pour the dry white wine into the pan around the lamb.

  9. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminium foil or a lid.

  10. Place the roasting pan in the preheated oven and let the lamb cook for about 2.5 to 3 hours. The slow cooking at a low temperature will result in tender, flavourful meat.

  11. Optional - Remove the foil or lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the lamb to develop a nice golden-brown crust.

  12. Once the lamb is cooked and tender, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

  13. Serve the Lamb Kleftiko with the roasted vegetables and optional potatoes. Drizzle with pan juices and garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

We use baking paper which is a more traditional method and wrap it in a parcel...but boy is it messy!!

Why it's Delicious and Nutritious:

Lamb Kleftiko is a beloved Greek dish that's not only incredibly delicious but also nutritious. It's rooted in Greek tradition and showcases the beauty of using whole-food ingredients:

  1. Flavour Explosion: The slow cooking process allows the flavours of the lamb and vegetables to meld together, resulting in a dish that's rich, aromatic, and succulent.

  2. Nutrient-Rich Lamb: Lamb is a great source of protein, essential amino acids, vitamins (B12, niacin), and minerals (zinc, iron). It adds depth and heartiness to the dish.

  3. Vibrant Vegetables: Red onions, green peppers, and tomatoes contribute a medley of vitamins (C, A), antioxidants, and dietary fibre. They add both colour and a fresh, tangy balance to the rich lamb.

  4. Olive Oil Goodness: The use of olive oil, a staple in Mediterranean cooking, provides healthy monounsaturated fats and adds a silky texture to the dish.

  5. Greek Tradition: Lamb Kleftiko has a long history in Greek cuisine and is associated with the idea of slow-roasting meat in clay ovens. This method results in the meat becoming incredibly tender and flavourful.

  6. Balanced Meal: With the combination of protein (lamb) and a variety of vegetables, Lamb Kleftiko offers a well-rounded meal on a single plate.

In essence, Lamb Kleftiko represents the heart and soul of Greek cooking – simple, wholesome ingredients coming together in harmony to create a dish that's not only delicious but also deeply satisfying and nutritious.

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Any questions on this topic, please do let me know.

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