Taste of Cyprus Local Food Kleftiko in paper (Kleftiko sto harti)

Kleftiko in paper (Kleftiko sto harti)

This famous dish of lamb and potatoes, seasoned with bay leaves and oregano, has an interesting back-story as well as being hearty and delicious.

The name means ‘stolen’ in Greek and, according to the Cyprus Food Museum, is thought to date back centuries when a sheep or goat that had been stolen from its flock would be cooked for several hours in a hole in the ground – sealed with mud – so that no tell-tale smoke would give the thieves away.

Although lamb or kid is mainly used for this recipe today, for a truly authentic Kleftiko, a goat (preferably three years old) is used instead. The prolonged cooking time in a well-sealed traditional clay oven, turns the usually sinewy meat into a tender dish that you could not achieve with conventional cooking.

INGREDIENTS:

3 pieces of lamb leg,
1cup olive oil
Bay leaves
Salt
Pepper
Oregano Place the lamb in a large bowl with the herbs and olive oil and mix well. (This is best done the day before)
Cut 3 pieces of greaseproof paper, large enough to cover each piece of meat. Wrap each piece securely (like an envelope) and place in a clay cooking pot and bake at 200°C for 3 hours. When ready, serve on a platter still wrapped in paper.

 

Top Stories

164 new cases, one death announced on Tuesday

 The Health Ministry announced the death of one person due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 176,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Wednesday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Wednesday, 20 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Parking place Sklavenitis supermarket, Germasogia 08:30-16:30 Grigoris Afxentiou Square 08:30-16:30 Parking place...

Italy’s Mount Etna erupts at night time

Long streams of red-hot lava flowed down Mount Etna as Europe's tallest and most active volcano erupted again.   At 10,926 feet, Etna is the continent's...

Cyprus secures another 565,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines

Through additional procedures of the European Commission, Cyprus secured another 565,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, increasing the number of orders from the specific company...

Everything ready for inoculations among enclaved Greek Cypriots and Maronites

All necessary arrangements have been made to start inoculating against COVID-19 the enclaved population and those who repatriated in the Karpas peninsula and the...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...