The Simple Things

Lamb kleftiko



Serves 6

1kg waxy potatoes (such as Desiree or Vivaldi), cut into wedges 1 large red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips 10 cherry (or 4 large) tomatoes 100ml olive oil Juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp sea salt ½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper 1 leg of lamb (roughly 2.5kg) 2 cloves garlic 60g butter, softened 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tsp sweet paprika

2 tbsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges 1 bulb garlic, halved horizontal­ly 1 handful fresh oregano leaves

1 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F. Line a large roasting dish with baking parchment. Layer the roasting dish with potatoes, red peppers and tomatoes on top. Evenly pour half the olive oil and half the lemon juice over the veg. Scatter over 1 tbsp salt and half the black pepper.

2 Using a sharp knife, carefully make deep incisions over the fatty side of the lamb leg so it can absorb as much of the flavour as possible. Place fat side up, on top of the veg.

3 Using a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic cloves, butter, cumin, paprika and the remaining 1 tbsp salt to create a paste. Add the toasted coriander seeds and lightly bruise a few of the seeds (leave some intact). Rub the paste all over the lamb and push it into the incisions.

4 Pour the remaining lemon juice and olive oil over the lamb and add 150ml water at the side of the roasting dish. Cover with foil or a cast iron lid and cook in the oven for 41/2 hours.

5 Remove foil/lid and carefully transfer liquid to a separate pot on the stovetop; set aside lamb to rest.

6 Reduce liquid, over a medium heat, until thickened slightly. Pour the liquid back over the lamb. Drizzle olive oil over the halved garlic bulb. Add lemon wedges and garlic to the roasting dish (on top of the veg) and return the lamb and veg to the oven for an hour until wedges are soft and juicy and garlic has softened and caramelise­d. Top with oregano leaves to serve.

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