LAMB KLEFTIKO: GREEK LAMB COOKED IN PARCHMENT PAPER
- Serves 6:
- 2 and ½ pounds boneless leg or shoulder of lamb, 4 pounds bone in
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 1 red onion, cut into chunks
- Handful cherry tomatoes
- 6 ounces kefalotyri or feta, cubed
- ¼ cup water
- 1 sprig rosemary
- The Spices:
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ - 1 teaspoon cumin powder (or ground cinnamon)
- The Marinade:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup (or more) fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
Preheat the oven to 375 °F, 190 °C.
Criss-cross 2 (full sheet) pieces of parchment paper into a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
If you cannot find very large sheets of parchment, just use 4-5 half-sheet pieces and overlap them.
Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
Place the potatoes on the parchment paper to create a bed at the bottom of the pan.
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the marinade over the potatoes. Season them with salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Add the diced peppers and onion to the pan.
Place the meat in a pan or a bowl (if it is cut into chunks) and pour the marinade over it. Season with the spice and salt. I usually use ¾-1 teaspoon salt per pound of meat.
Rub the marinade and spices all over the meat and place the meat over the potatoes, in the pan. Add the whole garlic cloves to the pan.
Fold the parchment paper over the meat to create a package. Secure it with 3-4 pieces of kitchen twine. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 3 hours or until the meat is very soft.
Increase the oven’s temperature to 475 °F, 250 °C.
Remove the foil and butcher’s twine from the pan and parchment package.
Uncover the top layer of parchment and tuck it into the sides of the pan.
Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the tomatoes and season the lightly with some salt and dried oregano. Sprinkle the tomatoes into the pan along with the feta cubes.
Roast uncovered 15-20 minutes or until the meat browns a little.
Serve with a salad and toasted bread. Enjoy!
Note: Use leftover meat to make delicious sandwiches. Stuff the meat into pita pockets along with lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, cucumber and tomato along with tzatziki sauce and enjoy!