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Easter Greek Lamb Roast

This Easter Greek Lamb Roast is the most tender lamb you will ever eat. Falling off the bone, the meat is flavourful, juicy, and best of all it only takes 5 minutes to prepare.


PULL-APART GREEK LAMB ROAST (Kleftiko-Style)

A little history:

The method of preparing and cooking lamb for Easter depends greatly on the family and what region of Greece they are from. One thing all regions have in common is the use of salt (and plenty of it), herbs, fresh lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without lamb being prepared and cooked.

Growing up we always had lamb on the spit which took a total of 8-10 hours to prepare and cook (depending on the lamb size). In fact this is by far my favourite way to eat lamb but let’s face it, it’s not convenient and most importantly, how many people own an electronic spit roaster? In the olden days, family members would take turns mechanically (by hand) rotating the lamb and this was an important ritual part of the Easter Feast. In fact, the men were responsible of taking care of the lamb while the women made the rest of the preparations.

PULL-APART GREEK LAMB ROAST (Kleftiko-Style)

Instead of showing you how Greeks roast a lamb on the spit, I am excited to share with you the way I have cooked my Easter Lamb Roast. In fact, whether it be for Easter or for a Sunday roast dinner, I cook my lamb the same way and we have enjoyed it for many years which I am sure now you will also.


Cooking meat Kleftiko-Style is to seal meat pieces in baking paper, like parcels, and cook them until the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. The word Kleftiko (translates to the word STOLEN) was supposedly used because (as the story is told), lamb was stolen from farms of the wealthy and cooked in deep pits to avoid detection of smoke or smell.


I have taken this idea and rather than sticking to cooking only small pieces of meat, I adapted it to cooking a whole lamb shoulder and I can guarantee you, you will be so excited about the way this turns out. I haven’t had a bad roast bake since I’ve cooked my lamb this way. In fact, it is now our traditional Easter Greek Lamb recipe. Enjoy!


Happy Creating,

Margaret

Easter Greek Lamb Roast

Serves 6

Lamb:

2kg shoulder of lamb

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 rosemary springs, leaves removed

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp black pepper

Juice of 1 lemon


Potatoes:

1kg potatoes, washed and cut into wedges

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp rosemary leaves

sea salt, a generous amount


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan forced / 200°C conventional oven / 400°F.

  2. Arrange a baking tray large enough to fit the lamb.

  3. Lay a long piece of foil and a long piece of baking paper on the bench. One width ways and the other lengthways to form a cross. You will be placing the lamb in the centre and wrapping it with the baking paper and foil.

  4. In a bowl combine the garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper and form a ‘paste’. Use this to rub and massage all over the lamb. Transfer to the baking paper and fold the baking paper and foil over to completely enclose the lamb. Place into the baking tray and roast for 4 hours.

  5. In the meantime prepare the side dishes. This may include the potatoes, a Greek salad, boiled peas, tzatziki dip, olives, and feta (recipes for these are below)

  6. To cook the potatoes, add them to a baking tray lined with baking paper and season with the oregano, rosemary and sea salt. Then drizzle olive oil all over. Combine well. Place into oven on the rack above the roast and set a timer for 1 hour.

  7. Once the lamb is cooked, carefully open the foil and baking paper and place it back into the oven for 10 minutes to golden.

  8. Squeeze fresh lemon juice all over lamb and potatoes. Place the roast and potatoes onto the table and shred the lamb using two forks. Serve immediately.


Images below showing process


Lamb Shoulder


Potatoes


Kleftiko: Lamb wrapped like a parcel


Cooked Lamb Shoulder



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