MAKES: 6 servings
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 4 hours + marinating
Kleftiko is a rustic dish of tender lamb flavored with lemon and oregano and served with baked vegetables. Kleftiko translates as “stolen”: according to Greek legend, bandits would steal lamb and goats from grazing flocks and cook them in underground pits to seal in the smoke. This version is so good you’ll want to keep it to yourself, too!
2 pounds (900 g) boneless leg of lamb, cut into 11/2-inch (4-cm) chunks
1 medium (100 g/3.5 oz) red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon (5 g/0.2 oz) dried oregano
1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
Ground black pepper
1 medium (400 g/14.1 oz) rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
2 medium (240 g/8.5 oz) green bell peppers, cut into chunks
1 large (240 g/8.5 oz) tomato, diced (or use canned diced tomatoes)
Optional: 8 ounces (225 g) diced halloumi
Fresh parsley, oregano, or basil for garnish
Place the lamb in a bowl and add all the ingredients for the marinade: red onion, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Combine well, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C, or gas mark 2). Place all the ingredients from the bowl into a large casserole dish. Add the rutabaga, green peppers, and tomato. Combine all the ingredients, cover with a lid or foil, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 3 hours 40 minutes, and remove the lid. Add the halloumi (if using) and bake for another 20 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately. To store, let it cool, and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:
Total carbs: 12.2 g / Fiber: 3.4 g / Net carbs: 8.8 g / Protein: 29.3 g / Fat: 32.3 g / Energy: 458 kcal
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (8%), protein (26%), fat (66%)