Lamb Baked in Yogurt

Lamb Baked in Yogurt
Staff Writer
Lamb Baked in Yogurt

Vassilis Stenos

Lamb Baked in Yogurt

In northern Greece all sorts of meats — from chicken to savory meatballs to lamb and goat — are cooked in sauces based on the local delicious, thick, strained sheep’s milk yogurt. This dish comes from the traditional cooking of the Vlachs, at one time an itinerant shepherd tribe, and is sometimes called vlachiko.

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4
Servings
605
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2  Tablespoons  extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1  Tablespoon  unsalted butter
  • 1  Pound  boneless leg of lamb or goat, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • scallions, trimmed and chopped finely
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2  Cup  basmati or another long-grain rice
  • 1/2  Cup  dry white wine
  • 1  Cup  water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • large eggs
  • 2  Cups  thick Greek yogurt
  • 3  Tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 2  Tablespoons  finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3  Tablespoons  grated kefalotyri cheese (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, wide pan over medium-high heat and brown the lamb pieces, turning to color them evenly. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add the rice and pour in the wine and water. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. As soon as the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, season the contents of the pot with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

Whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl until foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt and flour. Whisk the eggs into the yogurt mixture and stir in the chopped mint. Season lightly with a little salt.

Spread out the lamb mixture in a casserole dish with a lid or divide evenly between individual ramekins, about 3 inches deep. Spread the yogurt mixture evenly over the meat. Bake, uncovered, until the yogurt is set and lightly browned on top, for 45 minutes. Cover and cook until the lamb is tender, for 45 more minutes. (If using ramekins, check after 25 minutes.) Ten minutes before removing from the oven, sprinkle, if using, with grated kefalotyri cheese. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
25g
36%
Sugar
10g
11%
Saturated Fat
7g
29%
Cholesterol
105mg
35%
Carbohydrate, by difference
44g
34%
Protein
49g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
65µg
9%
Vitamin B-12
5µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
7µg
8%
Calcium, Ca
236mg
24%
Choline, total
11mg
3%
Fiber, total dietary
3g
12%
Folate, total
45µg
11%
Iron, Fe
8mg
44%
Magnesium, Mg
74mg
23%
Niacin
11mg
79%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
528mg
75%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
31µg
56%
Sodium, Na
582mg
39%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
232g
9%
Zinc, Zn
8mg
100%

Lamb Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Lamb Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.