Arnaki Kleftiko (Bandit's Lamb)
This recipe is an adaptation of a dish fixed in the mountains by guerillas (bandits) who needed to cook without being seen. They placed the meat on coals in a hole, covered it up, and let it cook for up to 24 hours. No trace of any stolen animal, and no smell of cooking meat to give them away.
- Ready In:
- 2hrs 50mins
- 4 lbs leg of lamb
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 ounces cheese, cut in cubes (kefalotyri, pecorino)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 lbs baking potatoes (peeled and cut in half or quarters)
- 3 medium carrots, cut in chunks
- sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 5 sheets of parchment cooking paper
- Preheat the oven to 480°F
- Rub the lamb with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- With a sharp knife, pierce the lamb and insert a clove of garlic and a piece of cheese into each opening. Do this until the cloves are all inserted into the lamb.
- Drizzle the potatoes and carrots with any remaining oil, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- On a clean work surface, spread out the parchment sheets and lay the lamb in the center, with the potatoes and carrots. If there is any remaining cheese, add as well.
- Close the parchment paper and secure well, tucking the sides underneath to make a packet.
- Fill a roasting pan 1/3 full of water, add the packet and cook for 2 hours 30 minutes, adding more water to the pan as needed to keep from getting dry.
- When done, lift the entire packet onto a serving platter, and cut open at the table to serve.
- Alternate preparation: Cut meat into serving size portions and wrap each portion, together with portion-size serving of potatoes and carrots, individually. Set side by side in roasting pan to cook, and serve one packet to each plate.
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Made for ZWT-9, this Goddess wonders how those bandits managed to evade capture, Even in the mountains & cooked below ground, at some point the wonderful aroma from the garlic & lamb had to be released to be eaten above ground. It was made exactly as written except for the use of more olive oil than directed, My kefalotyri cheese was grated, seemed to melt into the major ingredients & added a lovely flavor element. I found out I'm not very good w/parchment packets, but it didn't change the delicious outcome. Thx for posting this yummy recipe for us..1Reply