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"In Greek, kleftiko means -stolen meat-," says Theodore Kyriakou, owner of London restaurant, The Real Greek. "According to legend, this dish would be made with a lamb stolen from a flock as it grazed on a hillside. The thief would cook the meat over many hours in a hole in the ground, sealed with mud so that no steam could escape to give him away." Nowadays, the lamb is sealed inside a paper package, which keeps the meat moist and traps its fragrant juices. If this recipe whets your appetite for a little Hellenic cooking, see Theodore-s new book, The Real Greek at Home (Mitchell Beazley; £20).
Serves: 4 - 6
This recipe was first published in August 2004.