Greek lamb with lemony garlic potatoes (lamb kleftiko)

A super flavourful not to mention really easy to make impressive Greek lamb roast. Throw a few ingredients in a pot, sit a lamb leg on top, rub in herbs and spices, and slow roast to entertaining perfection.
Course Main meal
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 5 to 6
Calories 266kcal
Author Helen


  • 2 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into large wedges
  • 3 medium to large tomatoes cut into big chunks
  • 1 red pepper cut into chunks
  • 1 large or 2 smaller red onions peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds leg lamb bone in
  • olive oil about a tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 whole head of garlic

To serve (optional)

  • feta cheese Greek yogurt, salad and fresh crusty bread


  • Preheat the oven to 160C / 320F.
  • Place the potato wedges, tomatoes, red pepper, onions, and bay leaves in an oven proof cooking pot or deep roasting pan. Grind over plenty of salt and pepper, then sit the lamb on top, fat side up.
  • Rub the lamb all over with the olive oil, then with the oregano and cinnamon. Squeeze over the juice of half the lemon.
  • Peel half of the garlic cloves and roughly chop into chunks. Cut small slits all over the lamb and insert the garlic chunks into them.
  • Tuck the rest of the garlic (unpeeled is fine) in and around the lamb and potatoes / veggies, then squeeze the other half of the lemon all over the potatoes / veggies. Finally, pour over 200ml water.
  • Put the lid on the pot (or tightly cover with foil if using a roasting dish) and roast for 4 hours until the lamb is fall-apart tender. Check half way through cooking, and again about two thirds of the way through, and add a few drizzles more water if you think the dish needs it.
  • Fifteen minutes before the end of the cooking time, add another splash or two of water if necessary, then turn the oven up to 220C / 430F and roast uncovered until the potatoes / veggies have browned a little.
  • Remove the bay leaves, then serve with a sprinkle of feta, Greek yogurt, grilled bread and salad (if using).


Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 1159mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 745IU | Vitamin C: 62.5mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 8.2mg