Calliope's Real Greek Food

cooking & stories in my Brooklyn kitchen

Casserole leg of lamb with Greek herbs


{arni sti gastra}


This dish is also called ‘Sunday lamb’. Traditionally, it is cooked in a deep, round, fired clay or earthenware casserole pot designed to be used in outdoor wood- fired ovens, called ‘gastra’. Gastra is used to prepare all sorts of dishes in Greece. It is one of the most ancient cooking pots; it gives a distinct taste to the food that is slowly cooked with the minimum use of fat. I use a Dutch oven, instead.

Preparation Method

1.     Squeeze lemon juice over lamb and rub it evenly

2.     Chop the garlic, the bacon, oregano and rosemary and use a small sharp knife to make shallow cuts all over the meat in order to hide some of this mixture in the inside

3.     Season well and rub the lamb with the remaining of the herbs mixture

4.     Place the potatoes and the onion in the casserole dish and season

5.     Place the leg of lamb on top of the potatoes and onion

6.     Pour the olive oil and wine and add the bay leaf

7.     Cover and roast for 1hour and 15 minutes in a preheated oven in 400F

8.     After the first hour, check the casserole for liquids; you might need to add some extra hot water. Uncover the casserole dish and roast for another 20 minutes


-       3 slices of bacon

-       1 branch fresh rosemary

-       1 branch fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dry oregano)

-       1 leg of lamb (about 3 pounds)

-       2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut in bite sized chunks

-       2 cloves garlic

-       1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

-       1 large white onion, peeled and cut in 6 pieces

-       ½ cup dry white wine

-       1 bay leaf

-       kosher salt

-       freshly ground pepper

-       1 lemon






Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 90 minutes

Serves: 4