Lambratis Andros

Lambratis Andros

Easter lamb or kid, Andros style

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
20
Photographer
Alan Benson

The major problem with preparing this Easter lamb speciality from the lovely island of Andros is having an oven large enough for the lamb. Perhaps an obliging restaurateur or baker in your area might let you use their oven at a convenient time.

In Andros they use a special cover made of baked clay to keep the lamb moist and succulent. Foil is a reasonable substitute, but has to be removed to give the browning effect naturally produced with the traditional covering.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 baby lamb or kid, about 10–12 kg
2 lemons, juiced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
60g butter, melted
60ml olive oil

Spinach and feta stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
2.5kg spinach
185ml olive oil
12 spring onions, chopped
220g short-grain white rice, washed
1.5kg feta cheese
3 tablespoons dill, chopped
3 tablespoons mint, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Wipe the lamb or kid inside and out with a damp cloth. Rub the cavity and the outside with some of the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and set aside while making the stuffing.
  3. Trim the roots from the spinach, if present, and remove any discoloured and damaged leaves. Wash the spinach in several changes of water, drain well and chop roughly.
  4. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based (non-aluminium) saucepan and gently fry the spring onion until soft. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts. Stir in the washed rice, then cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and cool.
  5. Break the feta into small chunks and add to the spinach mixture with the herbs. Mix well, taste, then add salt if necessary and a generous grinding of pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Partly sew up the lamb or kid cavity with kitchen string. Pack the stuffing in through the opening and finish sewing up the cavity. Push the foreshanks back towards the body and tie them in position, passing string over the back of the carcass. Tie the back legs, leaving them a little apart — tying them will stop them splaying outwards.
  7. Rub the outside again with lemon juice, salt and pepper and place on a rack set in a large catering-size baking dish.
  8. Combine the melted butter with the oil and brush half the mixture over the meat. Cover the dish with large sheets of foil, sealing the joins with double folds. Press the foil under the edges of the dish to seal it completely.
  9. Roast for 2 hours. Lift the foil and brush the meat with more of the butter and oil mixture. Roast for a further 1½–2 hours, remove the foil and brush again.
  10. Roast, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and browned — depending on its size, it may need a final 30 minutes or so.
  11. Remove from the oven and cover with the foil and a thick cloth. Leave to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
  12. Lift the meat onto a large wooden board. Remove the string and spoon the stuffing onto a platter.
  13. Turn the meat on its back and chop along the backbone from the inside with a cleaver. Then chop each half into chunks and pile them onto platters. The meat on the legs may be carved into slices.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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