Lamb kleftiko

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 5 hrs, 20 mins plus overnight marinating

More effort

Serves 6
Seal a leg of lamb in a parcel then roast it long and slow with garlic, lemon and herbs, and potatoes to soak up the delicious juices

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal729
  • fat41g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre4g
  • protein57g
  • salt2.3g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.

Ingredients

  • 6 garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped oregano
    Oregano

    Oregano

    or-ee-gar-no

    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped rosemary
    Rosemary

    Rosemary

    rose-mar-ee

    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • zest 1 lemon and juice of 2
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2kg leg of lamb
  • 1kg Desiree potato, halved or quartered
    Potato

    Potato

    po-tate-oh

    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 5 bay leaf

For the mint yogurt

  • 250g Greek yogurt
  • juice ½ lemon
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • handful mint, shredded
    Mint

    Mint

    mi-nt

    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

For the Greek-style salad

  • 1½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100g baby spinach
  • small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
    Parsley

    Parsley

    par-slee

    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 175g cherry tomato, halved
  • ½ cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and sliced
  • 75g black kalamata olive, stoned and quartered

Method

  1. Crush together the garlic cloves and 1 tsp salt using a pestle and mortar. Add the herbs, lemon zest, cinnamon, some black pepper, crush a little more, then stir through 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Using a sharp knife, create lots of holes all over the lamb, and rub in the paste, pushing it deep into the holes. Transfer the lamb to a large food bag, pour in the lemon juice and marinate overnight.

  2. The next day, take the lamb out of the fridge 1 hr before you want to cook it. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Lay 2 long pieces of baking parchment on top of 2 long pieces of foil – one widthways, the other lengthways to form a cross. Pop the potatoes in the centre of the parchment and toss with the remaining oil and some seasoning. Bring up the sides of the foil, then pour the marinade from the lamb over the potatoes and throw in the bay leaves. Set the lamb on top of the potatoes and scrunch the foil together tightly to completely enclose the lamb. Lift into a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 4½ hrs until very tender.

  3. Remove tin from the oven and increase the temperature to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Unwrap the parcel and scrunch the foil and parchment under the rim of the tin, baste the lamb with the juices and return to the oven for a further 20 mins until browned. Remove the lamb from the tin, wrap in foil and rest. Turn the potatoes over and return to the oven for 30 mins, then season with salt.

  4. While the potatoes are cooking, stir together all the ingredients for the yogurt. Combine the red wine vinegar, oil and some seasoning to make a dressing for the salad. Toss together the remaining salad ingredients, adding the dressing when you’re ready to eat. Serve the lamb with the potatoes and meaty juices, with the salad and yogurt on the side.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (24)

Shollis123's picture
5

If I could give this 100 stars I would, it was much simpler to make than I thought and was out of this world delicious. My guests said it was the best lamb and potatoes they had tasted. The potatoes went lovely and crispy and were full of flavour.

Caravan Of Love's picture
5

I've done this recipe numerous times now for family & friends. It's not let me down once. It really is great!

I part boil the potatoes however before I put them with the lamb and let them roast slightly longer in the juices at the end when the lamb is resting.

Great recipe and awesome lemony tasting roast potatoes

SammyD120's picture

Hi there! I am a new cook, and while this may sound very silly, I need to ask as I don't want to mess this amazing recipe up.
On the instruction to - "Set the lamb on top of the potatoes and scrunch the foil together tightly to completely enclose the lamb. Lift into a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 4½ hrs until very tender." - Would you put the lamb in the oven in the roasting tin with the roasting tin lid on or off? Thank you!

AuroraLondon's picture

Update from below review. Awful, no one would eat it, pizza ordered. What a waste of several hours of my life and an expensive piece of lamb. I also cook for a living so am not an inexperienced cook. God knows we're I went wrong given the glowing reviews and having eaten sublime kleftico in Greece many times and know what it should taste like but happy for the chef who wrote this recipe to come round and show me what I did wrong! Sorry to be a miserable sod but truly gutted as had such high hopes.

AuroraLondon's picture

Got this in the oven now. Followed recipe to a T including over night marinading, however, just gone to uncover after 4.5 hours and still raw!! Words can not be printed how I feel right now!! Have put it back in open at 220 degree's for what is supposed to be the final 20 mins for the lamb but seeing as the potatoes are not even soft either, have put another hour on the clock. Not impressed... and can promise you my oven works fine. Annoyed and a hungry family still waiting!!!

effney587's picture

This is my most favourite lamb recipe ever! Have made it 3 times now and it never disappoints! The lamb is beautifully cooked - falling off the bone and the potatoes are so good after being cooked in all the juices from the lamb. I serve mine with a Greek salad and Tzatziki.

lizleicester's picture
5

This is a wonderful way to do lamb and just what was needed for a summer version of a Sunday roast. The salad is delicious and I also made the pomegranate salad that is shown on the Persian lamb recipe on this site.

lizleicester's picture
5

This was going to be a Sunday dinner but turned into an engagement celebration meal and it rose to the occasion magnificently!! Delicious lamb and all the salad and mint yoghurt were perfect too.

busterfleur's picture

Sausage 21 asked what to do with the leftover lamb.
In the past I have reheated the lamb, finely chopped some tomatoes, shredded lettuce, made humus although I have bought that sometimes. When the lamb has been reheated, I shredded it and then toasted pitta bread to make pockets for the salad, shredded lamb and humus. It is absolutely delicious and one of my (grown up) sons prefers it to the actual full blown Kleftiko meal which in itself is a wonderful discovery

bacon-n-egg's picture
5

Ive made this a couple of times with half a shoulder and works devine for a family of 4. I dont even peel the spuds! Cutting the time down by blasting at high heat at first. Lots of flavour and leaves more time on a Sunday to do the rest of the chores. Makes a change from the usual traditional roast.

sausage21's picture

I've got some of the lamb left. Any idears how to use them

busterfleur's picture

Sorry Sausage 21- I have replied to your comment on another post. I hope you find it useful although I think the leftover lamb has long gone :-)

fmdg85's picture
5

Calling all people who want to impress their guests with very little effort! What a wonderful recipe this is, we had this for Mothers Day lunch and it was lovely to put everything into the oven and forget about it! The mint dip was glorious too.
The only thing I would do differently is to take some of the juices which the potatoes are sat in and baste the lamb before I covered it with foil to rest.

Mike Edwards's picture
5

What can I say? Absolutely the best lamb I have ever tasted! I bought a half leg of lamb at my local superstore and asked the butcher to bone it and tie it for me. I followed the recipe almost to the letter but reduced the garlic and lemon by half. I cooked it with the potatoes in my fan oven at 130 C for four and a half hours and then 200 C for 30 minutes. My only problem was that the potatoes didn’t crisp up enough. In future I may take these out earlier and cook in my upper oven for slightly longer at 200 C. This was definitely a winner with the family and can’t wait to impress friends with it!

slickson's picture
5

Is there a sixth star? Best lamb leg recipe ever!! The potatoes were amazing too. Served with salad/ on a warm summer evening. Perfect.

shinnell's picture
5

This really is delicious. It has become one of my signature dishes. The potatoes cooked in the juices make them the best tasting I've ever had. Always get lots of compliments serving this one up to guests and it doesn't need you in the kitchen missing out on the chat.

sjmsjm2's picture
5

Lovely for a leisurely Saturday evening dinner with friends. I drained (& kept) the marinade when I took the lamb out of the oven and the potatoes crisped up beautifully. Will do again.

Louise G's picture

Amazing!
I was only doing a 1lb lamb shank so I knocked the cooking time down by an hour. I also only marinated mine for about an hour and it was still great - am excited to try it with a proper overnight one.
If only it was feasible to always cook roast potatoes for several hours with a bit of lamb on top - totally delicious!

linda_firth's picture

What did I do wrong? The recipe sounded delicious but it didn't work for me. The flavours were too strong, the potatoes over lemony. My guess is that I had one of those odd tasting lemons that turn up sometimes, and I used a frozen lamb leg which certainly did not fall off the bone. I thawed it first of course. Shame, after all those hours of cooking. I will learn from experience and taste my lemons and buy my lamb from a trusted butcher. .

slickson's picture
5

Definitely worth trying again. I only used one lemon (it was a big juicy one)

Pages

Questions (1)

SammyD120's picture

Hi there! I am a new cook, and while this may sound very silly, I need to ask as I don't want to mess this amazing recipe up.
On the instruction to - "Set the lamb on top of the potatoes and scrunch the foil together tightly to completely enclose the lamb. Lift into a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 4½ hrs until very tender." - Would you put the lamb in the oven in the roasting tin with the roasting tin lid on or off? Thank you!

Tips (3)

pjaysnowden's picture

I live in Cyprus, the home of kleftiko.

This recipe is good but...way more complicated than the Cypriot recipe.

Two cups of olive oil,
Two cups of fresh lemon juice.
Six finely chopped cloves of garlic.
Desert spoon of Cyprus oregano.
Enough lamb or goat for six people.
Potatoes peeled and halved.

Mix it all together and bake it in a sealed oven tray on 150C all day.

janeennisaustin's picture

Add chunky sliced onion and chunky carrots with the potatoes and lamb, then add feta cheese and cherry tomatoes (or quartered tomatoes) half an hour before it has finished cooking. Just serve with tzatziki, crusty bread and a good bottle of wine - delicious !

rubseb's picture

I made this for 2 people and thus went with a much smaller piece of lamb (450 grams, no bone). I'm not sure what went wrong, but the lamb ended up completely dried out. Perhaps the cooking time was too long (I shortened it by 1 hour, but still) or the temperature too high (I stuck to the recipe, but my oven is a bit on the small side and gets quite hot). Anyway, the upshot is: take care when making this recipe in smaller portions, as it seems you can't just change the quantities and be done with it.