Kleftiko is one of the most popular traditional Greek/Cypriot dishes. It is either lamb or goat wrapped in foil and baked in special clay ovens. As with most Greek meat recipes, it is the slow cooking that makes all the difference.
Kleftiko is the Greek word for ‘stolen’ and the recipe is sometimes referred to as ‘bandit’s lamb’.
The origin of this dish goes back to the Cypriot freedom fighters of the 19th.Century that lived in the mountains. They had to prepare their stolen meat, the Kleftiko, so that it was neither seen nor smelt. It was baked in special earthenware pottery, which they had buried underground. The hole was then sealed to prevent steam escaping and giving the Kleftiko away.
The great thing about lamb Kleftiko is that it is so easy to prepare but looks very impressive on the plate. The lamb should be melt-in the-mouth and the vegetables infuse with all the meaty juices.
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