Morning Live: Rick Stein shares his Christmas dinner tips

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Roast lamb is a real Sunday favourite, but this Sunday try Rick Stein’s less traditional but equally delicious Lamb Kleftiko. Listed as one of the Happy Foodie’s “show-stopping roast dinner recipes”, this food is sure to put a smile on the family’s faces.

The British chef, restaurateur, cookery book author and television presenter has had an illustrious cooking career that has spanned more than 40 years so far.

He has over 25 cookery books and over 30 programmes including 12 cookery series’ to his name.

About his Lamb Kleftiko recipe, Rick Stein stated: “I have written a recipe for kleftiko before, but this one, based on one we had in a restaurant in Symi, had to go in the book.

“I think it was the combination of tomatoes, red pepper and waxy potatoes and a whole bulb of garlic that did it, plus the slow cooking.”

This delectable Sunday dinner can slow-cook in the oven while chefs enjoy their weekend.


Waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

One large red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips

Three large tomatoes, cut into thick slices

One and a half teaspoons of salt

12 turns of black pepper mill

One leg of lamb (about 2.5kg)

Juice of one lemon

60ml olive oil

One bulb garlic, cut in half horizontally

One tablespoon of dried oregano

200ml water

100g feta cheese, roughly crumbled


Heat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Place the potatoes, red pepper and tomato in a large, flameproof oven dish or tin and season with the salt and pepper.

Put the leg of lamb on top and pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, then add the garlic halves to the dish. Sprinkle all over with the oregano.

Pour the water into the dish and cover with foil, sealing the edges well to retain the moisture as it cooks. (A large enamelled, lidded, cast-iron pot, such as Le Creuset, would also be suitable to cook this in.)

Cook in the oven for 2½–2¾ hours until the meat is falling off the bone, adding a little more water, if necessary, halfway through to keep the vegetables moist.

Remove the foil (or lid) and add the feta, then return to the oven for 10 more minutes.

After this time, check the consistency of the juices. If the dish seems a little dry, add a little more water. If too diluted, transfer the meat and vegetables to a serving dish and reduce down the liquid on the hob.

Serve the meat in chunks or thick slices with the vegetables and juices.

To make it more of a traditional Sunday dinner, Rick Stein’s Lamb Kleftiko can be served alongside traditional favourites such as roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and seasonal vegetables.

“Any leftover lamb is delicious wrapped in a warm flatbread with lettuce, tomatoes and finely sliced onions.”

This delectable recipe feeds eight people.

Its difficulty level is “easy”, so even cooking novices can impress in the kitchen this Sunday.

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