A super flavourful not to mention really easy to make impressive and authentic 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.
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 (just under a cup) 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 green salad leaves.
You need to get a whole lamb leg with the bone still in for this recipe (about 2 pounds or 1 kilo). If you'd like to scale up for more people and you have a big enough pot, use the sliding scale at the top of the recipe to adjust the ingredient amounts. Try a local butcher to get the best quality lamb you can.
If you like you can replace some of the water you pour over the lamb before putting it in the oven with wine! (try about 1/3 cup of wine)
What to do while the lamb is cooking
Other than putting your feet up, lift the lid of the pot every now and again and add a drizzle more water. I usually do this half way through the cooking time and about 15 minutes before the end.Also remember to take the lid off the pot and turn up the oven for the last 15 minutes to let the potatoes and lamb brown a little on top.
How to serve this meal
This is a one pot meal, so you'll already have your delicious potatoes and vegetables. To make a great meal into an absolutely incredible one though, serve with a sprinkle of feta cheese, a dollop of Greek yoghurt or tzatziki, grilled bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, and a nice crisp green salad. Perfection!
And finally... can you cook this in a slow cooker instead?
Yes! Simply brown your lamb on all sides either in a pan or a slow cooker with a saute function first. Then brown your potatoes for a few minutes.Then follow the recipe as for the oven version, but slow cook on low for 9 hours. You don't have to add any more water during cooking. The potatoes will not be crispy but the meal will be just as delicious as the oven version. If you like you can pop the meal under the grill (US broiler) for 5 minutes for a bit of colour and crisp!
Erm... what about an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker?
I haven't tried making this in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker yet, but I plan to. When I do I'll update this post with my findings! If you'd like to try making lamb kleftiko in the Instant Pot, I'd suggest following the slow cooker instructions, but cook for 45 minutes on high pressure. Use natural release. Grill (UK)/Broil for 5 minutes for a bit of crisp and colour!