The element of surprise works a treat with these lamb parcels. The lucky recipient opens up their individual package to be greeted by the heady aromas of garlic and bay leaf in this delicious and tender lamb dish.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
- 6 lamb leg steaks (bone-in), about 300g each
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 large (or 4 medium) potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise so you have 12 slices
- 6 carrots, cut in half and then each half cut vertically
- 6 garlic cloves (medium sized)
- 6 fresh bay leaves, crumpled to release their fragrance
- 6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 130C. Tear six pieces of baking paper (each one about 30cm long) and set aside.
- Generously season both sides of the lamb steaks with salt, pepper and a little dried oregano and set aside.
- Grab one piece of paper and stack two slices of potato in the middle. Top with four quarters of carrot and then pop a lamb steak on top of the pile. Complete the stack by adding a garlic clove which has been cut into quarters on top of the steak along with a crushed (not torn) bay leaf. Drizzle the top with a teaspoon of the olive oil before closing the parcel and tying the top with kitchen twine. Place on a baking tray and repeat with the remaining 5 parcels.
- Pop the baking tray in the oven for about 3 hours or until the meat is lovely and meltingly tender (you can check this by carefully opening a parcel and retying it if it not cooked enough).
- Allow to rest a little before serving with plenty of fresh bread to mop up the delicious juices.
When hosting a formal dinner party I always try to serve up food that has a little element of surprise. This may come in the form of a flavour people weren’t expecting, or a little bit of theatre when serving up the meal.
Kleftiko is definitely a favourite at such dinner parties. The lamb is served directly in its little parcel and everyone simply adores untying the twine holding it together, not knowing what’s inside. I, in turn, love seeing their reactions and hearing the oohs and aahs as the beautiful aromas fill the room!
The classic Greek combination of meltingly tender lamb, garlic and bay leaves are at play here which means it is absolute comfort heaven. I hope you like it!