Elwira cooks Greek dishes: Kleftiko, juicy and tasty Greek lamb stew

HouseFinders_Peloponnese_Elwira_house_peloponneseGreek lamb stew kleftiko (κλέφτικο) is a juicy and tasty stew that is cooked in the oven for a couple of hours and is one of the undisputed classics in Greek cuisine. Kleftiko has all the classic flavors associated with Greece: lamb, oregano, garlic, feta cheese, peppers, tomatoes and squash.

The story of the Greek lamb stew kleftiko (κλέφτικο)

The story of this rich stew takes us back to the reign of the Ottoman Empire in Greece. The name comes from the word klefts (robbers or thieves). The free Greeks, who did not want to accept the laws of the Turkish Empire, formed outlawed groups to fight against the occupiers. And guess where many of these Greek heroes were hiding? In the mountainous Peloponnese of course!

Inventive klefts had to find a way to cook meat without lots of smoke from fire that would otherwise reveal their hiding places. When they managed to get hold of (or steal) a lamb, they lit a small fire in a pit and in the ashes on the bottom they put pieces of meat wrapped in animal skins spiced with what can still be found in the Peloponnese: wild oregano and garlic. Then they put out the fire and let the food boil in the glowing ashes. Needless to say, the word “kleptomania” comes from klefts?

Our kleftiko is not cooked in animal skin but in a glass form with a lid, although you can just as easily put it in a package of aluminum foil where you distribute all the ingredients. Then calculate at least 3-4 pieces of meat per person.

Kleftiko step one: ingredients preparation

The ingredients below are calculated in a 5 liter glass mold with a lid and are enough for 4-6 people

Step two. Let the ingredients marry in the oven

Feel free to serve the stew with a Greek salad, one or two Greek pies with feta cheese and of course with tzatziki! Sit for a long time with your loved ones and enjoy the taste of Greece!