Photo by Aglaia Kremezi
This recipe is my version of the Cypriot dish Seth Rosenbaum describes, adapted for the home cook. It is based on the instructions Paula Wolfert gives in her wonderful new book, Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking. Note that in Greece there is confusion about the term kleftiko, which means juicy lamb or goat baked in a clay pot with vegetables, but also boned pieces of lamb, baked with vegetables and cheese wrapped in phyllo.
• 6 pounds bone-in goat (or lamb) shank, with some ribs, bones cracked by the butcher at several places, but pieces still attached.
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1/4 cup olive oil, more if you are baking potatoes
• 1/3 cup dry red wine
• 8 cloves garlic, peeled
• 2 tablespoons Greek oregano
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 to 3 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
• 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
• Fresh twigs from a carob tree, or vine cuttings
• 2 pounds medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (optional)
The night before baking, wash the meat, pat dry with paper towels and place in a deep pan that holds the pieces snugly.
In a blender pour the lemon, olive oil, wine, and add the garlic, oregano, cumin, pepper and salt, and process briefly. Pour the marinade over the meat, turn the pieces and rub to coat all over. Cover and refrigerate overnight, and up to 1 day.