Greek lamb in a bag

Greek lamb in a bag

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin


Quantity Ingredient
6 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons roughly chopped oregano
1 tablespoon roughly chopped rosemary
1 lemon, grated zest
2 lemons, juiced
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 2kg leg of lamb
1kg potatoes, halved or quartered
5 bay leaves

Mint yoghurt

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain greek-style yoghurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
handful mint, shredded


  1. Crush the garlic with the salt using a mortar and pestle. Add the herbs, lemon zest, pepper and cinnamon, then crush a little more to make a rough paste. Stir through 2 tablespoons of the oil. Using a sharp knife, spear the lamb all over, and rub in the herb paste, pushing it deep into the holes. Transfer the lamb to a large bowl (or use a zip-lock bag), pour in the lemon juice and marinate overnight.
  2. The next day, take the lamb out of the refrigerator an hour before you want to cook it. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  3. Arrange two long pieces of aluminium foil – one widthways, the other lengthways – to form a cross inside a roasting tin, then lay two long pieces of baking paper on top in the same fashion. Toss the potatoes with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper, then tip onto the centre of the paper. Bring up the sides of the paper and foil, then pour the marinade from the lamb over the potatoes and throw in the bay leaves. Set the lamb on top of the potatoes and scrunch the foil together to completely enclose and seal in the lamb, leaving enough room for it to steam. Transfer to the oven and cook for 4½ hours, until the lamb is very tender.
  4. Remove from the oven. Turn the oven temperature to 220°C. Unwrap the parcel and scrunch the foil and paper under the rim of the tin, then baste the lamb with the juices and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, until browned.
  5. Remove the lamb from the oven. Carefully transfer to a platter, then wrap in foil and allow to rest. Turn the potatoes over and return to the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up, then season with salt to taste, if necessary.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, stir together all the ingredients for the mint yoghurt. Serve the lamb with the potatoes and meaty juices from the tin, and a dollop of yoghurt on the side.
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