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1 (4 lbs.) boneless leg of lamb or
8 shoulder lamb chops
8 sm. carrots, cut in half
8 sm. white onions
8 sm. stalks celery, cut into 20-inch pieces
8 sm. potatoes, peeled, halved, and buttered with
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried mint
8 slivers garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

If using leg of lamb, cut meat into eight 4 to 5-inch serving pieces. Make incisions in meat and insert slivers of garlic. Place each piece of meat on a large square of heavy-duty aluminium foil. Distribute the vegetables evenly among the eight packets. Add a few drops of lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, and mint. Fold the foil in double fold at top and seal like a package. Arrange packages close together in a baking pan and bake 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Serve each foil package, sealed, on dinner plate and let each guest open his own.

Variation: Other vegetables can be used, such as 4 small courgettes, cut up; 4 ripe tomatoes, quartered; 4 green peppers, cut into eighths; 2 medium aubergines, peeled and cubed; 8 artichoke hearts, or 8 whole large mushrooms.

Author's Comments

Apparently this means ‘robber lamb’. When bandits hid in the hills, so the story goes, the lamb was cooked wrapped up tightly so the smell of the cooking meat wouldn’t give their hiding places away.

You could alternatively just cook the whole lot in a casserole with a really tight fitting lid if you cannot be bothered with all this 8 bits of stuff business!

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4 Recipe Reviews

andy jones

andy jones reviewed Kleftico on June 7, 2000

my family and i enjoyed this meal recently while in greece (falaraki).we hope to enjoy it at home.

thanks for your help

Jason Whittam

Jason Whittam reviewed Kleftico on February 23, 2004

I liked this recipe but you really need to cook for about 4 hours on 150 c for the meatr to really fall of the bone, I added sweet potatoe, squash and parsnips which was great!

Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson reviewed Kleftico on June 16, 2004

I used two lamb shanks (whole) and cooked these for 4 hours @150C in a cast iron casserole dish with a close fitting lit. I added a glass of dry white wine at the start. Just try not to peek while it's cooking!

norman boxall

norman boxall reviewed Kleftico on August 1, 2004

i used a half shoulder of south down lamb that was hung for ten days i then coated it with olive oil crused garlic cut some holes and put in some black olive covered with rosemary and cooked on the bbq on a low heat for one and a half hours it was superb