2.5kg leg of lamb/shoulder, boneless
2 small red onions
1 red capsicum peppers
4 cloves of garlic (2 sliced and 2 whole)
Juice of half a lemon and peel
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch of fresh thyme
½ cup dry white wine
200g kefalotyri & feta, cubed
5 medium sized potatoes
1 pinch of Greek Kozani saffron
½ ripe tomato, sliced
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Grease proof paper
Wash the lamb and cut it into portions (approx. 5-6 cm). Place in a large bowl and set aside.
Prepare the vegetables. Cut the onions in half and then into four wedges. Cut the capsicum 2-3cm chunks and slice 2 cloves of garlic. Peel the potatoes and cut in four pieces. Add the vegetables in the bowl with the lamb and pour in the olive oil, white wine and lemon juice. Add 2 whole cloves of garlic, sprinkle with oregano, thyme, saffron and then season with salt and pepper.
Mix all the ingredients together with your hands. Cover the bowl with cling wrap, chill and let marinade for at least 2 hours. If possible, and for better results – leave the marinade overnight.
Once the meat is marinated, return the lamb to room temperature. In the same bowl add the cheese (cut into 2cm cubes) and combine. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Now wrap the Kleftiko in greaseproof paper. Lay 4 long pieces of paper to form a star shape. Place the marinated lamb, vegetables and cheese mixture in the centre of the paper and layer with the sliced tomato and enclose the Kleftiko into a pouch. To enclose hold the paper from the edges, crosswise and grab with your hand in the middle, just above the stuffing and squeeze. Use the kitchen string to tie the whole thing together just above the stuffing and then lift it into a roasting tin.
Roast the Kleftiko in the oven for about 1 hour 45 minutes or until tender. Remove the tin from the oven and increase the temperature to 220°C.
Unwrap the Kleftiko and baste the lamb with the juices and return in the oven for a further 20 mins or until nice and brown.
Serve the Kleftiko as it is in the wrapping. Yum!