A Greek classic … the story of Lamb Kleftiko


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Lamb Kleftiko is one of the undisputed classics of Greek cuisine. Using basic ingredients and a simple technique, it creates a flavourful dish that is a perfect alternative to a Sunday roast. Lamb Kleftiko is steeped in history and is said to be named after the Klephts, who were a group of bandits who fought Ottoman rule in Greece between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. These sheep-rustling bandits would cook their ill-gotten gains on coals in a covered hole or underground pit to avoid detection.

Much like the Klephts, the success of cooking Lamb Kleftiko at home is long, slow roasting until the meat is falling off the bone.  Lamb shoulder is the best cut for Lamb Kleftiko as it is fattier and it benefits from slow cooking. The shoulder of the lamb is a hard-working part of the animal and these areas hold the maximum flavour. Slow cooking will allow the shoulder meat to become juicy and rich, and develop an intensity of flavour that other cuts, such as the leaner lamb leg, just can’t match.

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