Winter cabbages are so sweet and tasty, especially when braising gives the such a silky taste. Stuffed cabbage leaves may very well be my winter favorite, but we’ll leave those for another day. In this recipe we are looking a a very easy, fast, midweek,…
Probably the most iconic Greek roast dinner, a classic choice for Sunday lunch or Easter, lamb is the go-to crowd pleaser in most Greek homes. This is my grandmother’s version with tiny slits filled with garlic and rosemary to scent the meat that she called “folitses”, little nests.
To calculate roasting time, weigh the lamb and allow 15-20 minutes per 500 g, depending on how well done you like your lamb. Choose grassfed, pastured meat as much as you can as it really does make a difference in every aspect from the taste to the animals’ welfare and the environmental impact.
- 2,3 kg leg of lamb
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in slivers
- small bunch of rosemary sprigs, separated
- 2 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
- salt & pepper
- 2 kg of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Preheat your oven to 230 C. Mix the garlic slivers, salt & pepper and rosemary sprigs in a bowl. Parboil the potatoes in salted water for 5′ and allow to dry in the colander. Rub the lamb with the butter and season. Make small incisions with a small sharp knife and insert a tiny sprig of rosemary and a sliver of garlic into each slit. Place in a large enough roasting tin to fit the potatoes and roast for 15 minutes.
Check that there is enough fat released in the tin from the lamb to cover the bottom and add a little olive oil if needed. Add the potatoes to the hot fat, season well and turn to coat well. Roast for a further 1 hour, basting the lamb occasionally. When done leave to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes before serving.
Youvarlakia is a traditional Greek soup featuring meat dumplings with rice and an “avgolemono” (egg and lemon) sauce. I had never tasted them growing up in Greece, since my expat Irish mom didn’t even know them. As I have no childhood memories, I felt quite…
- 800 g minced yearling lamb
- 2 twigs rosemary
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 sprigs of celery finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 750 ml homemade broth
- 2.5 kg potatoes or mixed with sweet potato or celeriac
- 200 ml milk
- 50 gr. butter
- 40 + 10 gr. mature Cheddar
- 80 gr. breadcrumbs
- 350 gr. peas frozen
Gently fry the onions, carrots and celery. Add the garlic and 30″ later the minced meat and brown well. Add half the rosemary, the Worcestershire sauce, the tomato paste, salt and pepper and stir well. Pour in the broth and let it simmer for an hour. Towards the end, remove the lid so that your sauce is juicy but not watery. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and drain them well. In the warm pot where you boiled the potatoes, add the butter and milk. Add the potatoes and mash them with the potato press. Beat well with a wooden spoon, the cheese and season lightly. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Grease a large oven dish, scatter the remaining rosemary leaves and most of the breadcrumbs on the bottom and sides. Spread half the mashed potatoes on the bottom and walls spoon by spoon. Layer over the minced meat followed by the peas. Finally carefully top with the remaining mashed potatoes, scatter the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs and dot with a little butter. Bake for about an hour at 180 C until browned well.
For the dairy free version, substitute the following:
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce with balsamic vinegar
200 ml milk with homemade broth
50 gr. butter with 40 gr. olive oil
40 + 10 gr. mature Cheddar with 1 tbsp mustard powder