There is absolutely no way you visit a traditional Cypriot or Greek taverna, and not find Ofto Kleftiko on the menu.
It is a delicacy, a very popular dish, along with souvlaki, sieftalies,ntolmadakia(koubebia) etc.
Kleftiko is actually a form of cooking, in which the raw ingredients are put into a hole in the ground, sealed with mud and slow fired for about 6 hours.
Having cooked for so many hours, the meat becomes very tender. Nowadays, Ofto Kleftiko is wrapped in special paper or aluminum foil, cooked in clay ovens, (found in almost every yard in the villages of Cyprus), or in clay pots. Mostly served with potatoes, which become super soft and tasty being cooked in the juices of the meat.
- 2 kg of lamb
- 1 large onion, cut in small pieces
- 1-2 sticks of cinnamon
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 tbl spoons of brandy
Cut meat in large pieces and place them in a clay pot or pyrex. Add salt and brandy, mix them well, add bay leaves, onion and cinnamon sticks, pour 5 tbl spoons of water and cook in oven at 200 Celsius, for approximately 1,5 hours. Open lid in the last 5-10 minutes to allow meat to get a roasty look.