Category: Loraine Birchall (O)
I love lamb, it's one of my favourite meats and as a Gatherer it's a regular food in this house. I love the taste, the texture, the smell as it cooks and the knowledge that every bite is 'doing me good' in some way.
My Mother gave me this recipe, it's a greek disk called I think, Lamb Kleftiko, and is very heavily seasoned. It's wonderful hot (ideally made with potatoes - boo, hiss...) but is also nice with celariac, turnip (rutabaga) or similar root veggies. The trick is cooking it long and slow. I do admit that I prefer a gravy so I add more liquid and top it up regularly so there is something to 'dip into' as I eat my veggies.
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
2kg diced lamb or mutton
1lb of root vegetables cut into chunks (ideally potatoes, celariac, fennel, parsnip or similar - and yes I know it's not the same as potato but a girl has to do what a girl has to do!)
juice of two large lemons (three if they are small)
2 tablespoons oregano (1 of dried, 1 of fresh, or just used 1.5T dried) - yes it's a lot
3 to 6 bayleaves
salt to taste
water 100ml (add more during cooking if you need or want to)
1 head of garlic cut across the centre - not peeled, just let it infuse the mix
I sometimes add onions, mushrooms or anything else I fancy.
Brown the lamb in a good casserole dish with the oil, add any onions after this stage and lightly cook them if using. Add the root veggies (potatoes etc), lemon juice, herbs, garlic, bayleaves, seasons, stock (if using to make 'gravy') and water.
Bring to a simmer and then cover the top of the casserole with foil, then put on the lid, you want to trap as much moisture as you can. Put into a preheated over at 180 degrees c, checking regularly and topping up with moisture as needed. The original recipe is for a dry dish, but as a Brit I prefer more liquid, do it whichever way suits you best. Remember to reseal the top of the casserole with foil and put the lid back on prior to putting back into the oven. Keeps the moisture in
I cook it for a couple of hours so the lamb is tender, the veggies have soaked up the juices and the house smells of herby, fragrant, garlic lamb - delicious.
Hope you enjoy it. I'm sure it'd be okay for Explorers as well as gatherers, just check your herb lists and swap where need be, however, I think the oregano is integral to the dish but at a push rosemary would be nice.