Lamb Baked in a Clay Pot
(Arni kleftiko)

For 6-8 people
Difficulty: Difficult
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes plus marinating time

lamb baked in pot

Lamb Baked in a Clay Pot
(Arni kleftiko)

For 6-8 people
Difficulty: Difficult
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes plus marinating time

For 6-8 people
Difficulty: Difficult
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes plus marinating time

lamb baked in pot

Ingredients:

1) 1 leg of lamb (1&1/2 – 2 kg), boned and cubed
2) 2 Tbsp olive oil
3) 2 large onions
4) 200ml dry white wine
5) 250g flour

For the marinade:

1) juice of 1 lemon
2) 2 garlic cloves, mashed
3) 1 Tbsp fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried
4) 2 bay leaves
5) salt
6) freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

First make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the lamb pieces and marinate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Remove the lamb from the marinade and drain it on paper towels. Reserve the marinade and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the lamb pieces on all sides. Place them in a clay oven-proof pot or pyrex dish.

lamb meal

Cut the onions in thin slices and add them to the pot with the wine and the marinade.

Mix the flour with enough water to make a firm dough. Roll it out on a floured surface until it is just larger than the pot. Moisten the edges of the pot with a bit of water and cover the meat with the dough, crimping it with your fingers to seal it.

Bake in the oven for about 2 hours, break the crust and serve.

Enjoy!

Note: Legend has it that this “Kleftiko” style of cooking has its origins in the groups of bandits or Klefts during the Ottoman period who used to steal sheep from the flocks of the Turkish overlords and cook them in sealed pots underground so that the delicious aromas would not betray them. Nowadays we can get the same effect with no risk by baking the meat inside a crust as in this recipe or even wrapped up in parchment paper or aluminum foil.

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