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Lamb Leg Roast Kleftiko Style


Cooking Lamb Kleftiko-Style is the only way I cook a lamb leg (or shoulder). In fact, I posted my pull-apart Greek Lamb Roast many years ago and it is still in my top 3 most searched recipes. The lamb is so juicy, tender and flavourful that many have said to me they can’t believe they never thought to cook a whole leg of lamb using this technique.


What is Klefiko?

Kleftiko is derived from the word “steal” which is where the English word Kleptomaniac comes from. So, it roughly translates to Stolen Meat. This is because the Outlaws or Bandits would steal a lamb or goat and take it up to the mountains where they hid and slow cooked it in the ground. Cooking this way prevented any flames and smoke in case it would reveal their location.


Because the lamb takes a little while to cook, the aroma, taste and texture is mouth-watering. It truly will have you going back for seconds. In saying how long it takes to cook, keep in mind it only takes 10 minutes to prepare. Put on the alarm to remind yourself to turn off the oven and in the mean time, you can forget all about it. Doesn’t get any simpler than that!


I have created this video to show you how simple this is to prepare. I have also cooked this with potatoes which I peel, marinate with olive oil, lemon, oregano and sea salt and add to the oven for an hour prior to the lamb finishing off. This way the lamb and potatoes finish cooking at the same time.


Watch How to Make It