The Ultimate Greek Tragedy

No. 147

I’ve always been very proud of Trafalgar Square, which commemorates The Empire’s victory over France and Spain in 1805. Fitting that the centerpiece is Nelson’s Column, although on a visit over the weekend wondered what Admiral Horatio would make of the very many levitating beggars that surround his Corinthian.

A frame laid onto the ground supports a curving arm, which when draped with material incorporating a novelty costume, hides a suspended chair, creating an illusion that the hanging scrounger is floating on fresh air. It’s a bit like the Greek economy, where people sit around collecting money from Europeans for doing very little.

Well at least the Grecian’s gave us the wonderful Lamb Kleftiko, which is this week’s recipe.

First stab the lamb with a knife a number of times and then rub in crushed garlic, lemon zest, cinnamon, herbs, black pepper and leave overnight in a bag with the juice of 1 lemon. The next day lay the potatoes on the base of a roasting tray; add a few good glugs of olive oil, the marinade and finally the lamb. Add the bay leaves, cover with tin foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 120oC for 4 hours. When cooked the meat should rest for 20 minutes before carving, so during this time mix together both the yogurt and salad dressing ingredients. When ready to eat, dress the salad ingredients and also serve with the yogurt.

We keep being told that Greece will run out of money in a matter of days. With summer approaching we could be faced with their finance minister Yanis Varoufakis having to metaphorically remove his nations leather jacket, only to find nothing underneath, or worse still one of those Borat style mankini’s.

Kamb Kleftiko (Serves 6)

2kg leg of lamb, 1 kg desiree potatoes sliced, 5 bay leaves.

For the rub: 6 cloves garlic, 3 tbsp chopped oregano, 1 tbsp chopped rosemary, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 5 tablespoons olive oil.

For the yogurt: 250g Greek Yogurt, juice 1/2 lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, chopped mint.

For the salad dressing: 11/2 tsp red wine vinegar, 11/2 extra virgin olive oil.

For the Salad: 100g baby spinach, small bunch parsley, 1/2 red onion finely sliced, 175g cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cucumber halved, deseeded and sliced, 75g black kalamata olives, stoned and quartered.

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