Greek-style roast lamb with macaroni

Tom Parker-Bowles cooks a classic Greek winter dish, a recipe with big, bold flavours to knock out the chill
By Tom Parker Bowles
Greek-style roast lamb with macaroni
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 5-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 15 minutes marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the lamb

  • 1 kg lamb shoulder, cut into four with the bone left in
  • 1 small lemon, diced with skin and pith
  • 1 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 2 bird's eye chillies, chopped

For the sauce

  • 900 ml whole milk
  • 80-100 g butter
  • 80-100 g flour
  • 1 egg yolk

For the macaroni

  • 450 g long Greek macaroni
  • 75 g butter
  • 3 egg whites, separated
  • 125 g kefalotyri or pecorino cheese, grated
  • 50 g breadcrumbs, toasted


1. For the lamb: preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Rub the lamb with the diced lemon and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes..

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy roasting tin. Dust the lamb with the seasoned flour, add to the tin and brown the meat all over. Add the tomatoes and cook until bubbling.

3. Mix the wine with the tomato purée and add to the lamb, followed by the cloves, cinnamon and chilli. Pour in enough water to cover the meat. Loosely cover the pan with foil and bake for 2½-3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Uncover the lamb for last 30 minutes to brown the meat and allow the juices to reduce to a rich, sticky sauce.

4. For the sauce: warm the milk in a saucepan. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat until foaming. Add the flour a little at a time, whisking continuously until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.

5. Slowly add the warm milk to the roux, whisking continuously to prevent lumps forming. Place the sauce back over a low heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until it has thickened to the consistency of cream.

6. Remove the sauce from the heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lightly whisk the egg yolk and beat it into the sauce. Set aside.

7. For the macaroni: preheat a separate oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and lightly butter an ovenproof baking dish.

8. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni for half the time recommended on the packaging. Drain the pasta and lay it out on a baking tray.

9. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until fluffy. Stir in half the melted butter, then pour this mixture over the macaroni, turning to coat evenly.

10. Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with a little cheese, then add a layer of macaroni. Sprinkle with more cheese, and add a little sauce. Repeat the process until all the macaroni and sauce have been used. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese, then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and top with the rest of the melted butter.

11. Bake the macaroni for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on top. Serve alongside the lamb.

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