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Lamb & Feta cheese Filo Parcels

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Greeks have a fondness for lamb, especially for lamb roasted in the oven accompanied by deliciously roasted potatoes with lemon, olive oil and oregano. After the long period of lent, one of the widely celebrated traditions for Greek families is to have lamb on Easter day. This tradition requires the whole lamb to be roasted slowly on a long spit over an open fire until the meat literally falls of the bone.

Another popular way of cooking lamb is by tighty wrapping a shoulder or a leg in baking paper so as to form a parcel, this dish is called "Kleftiko". The lamb, cooked with sliced onions, smashed garlic cloves and fresh herbs is coated generously with olive oil before being baked slowly in a low heat for a few hours, until the lamb becomes melt-in-the-mouth tender.

This recipe is a modern twist on Kleftiko with the lamb cooked in parcels but the parcels here are made with filo pastry instead of baking paper and the filling is enriched with peas, carrots and another Greek favourite, feta cheese. As feta slowly melts in the parcels, it adds a tangy, creamy saltiness to every bite.

This is an easy lamb recipe, with an extra crunch that is hard to resist.

Ingredients

  • 750 gr lamb, shoulder or leg, cubed
  • 200 gr peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200 gr feta cheese broken in chunks
  • 1 tbsp. of mustard
  • 1 small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 1 packet of filo pastry
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Rinse and pat dry the lamb.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a pot and cook the onions until translucent. Add the meat cubes and seal on all sides. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Add enough boiling water in the pot to cover the lamb, bring back to the boil and then lower to a simmer for approximately 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, boil the carrot and shallow fry the diced potato in a separate pan.
  5. Add the peas to the carrot 2 minutes before they are cooked then drain.
  6. Once the vegetables have completely drained and the potatoes have cooled down a bit, transfer all to a bowl and crumble in the feta cheese. Add the dill and mustard and gently stir to coat the mix. The filling for your parcels is ready.
  7. You will need one sheet of filo for each parcel, folded in two. Lay the folded sheet in front of you with the narrow side facing you and place a portion of cooked lamb to the bottom end of the filo sheet; then add two generous spoonfuls of the vegetable and feta mix. Don’t overfill the parcels and make sure there is enough space (about 2cm) on either side of the filling. Fold the sides in and start rolling up the parcel.
  8. Place the parcels next to each other tightly in a roasting pan with the seam down and brush with olive oil before baking.
  9. Bake at 180 °C in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until golden and crunchy.

Serve with a simple lettuce, sping onion & dill salad along with barrel-aged feta drizzled with olive oil on the side. This recipe works great with roasted lamb leftovers too.

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