Recipe of the week

Greek cooking is about so much more than feta cheese and olives. Cinnamon, bay leaves and cloves add spicy warmth to this hearty casserole.
Kefalograviera is a hard, salty sheep’s cheese that can be tricky to find, but I’ve made this many times with parmesan or pecorino, and they work nicely too. The casserole can be left to cook all day while you are at work, then all you need to do when you get home is stir through the pasta. Dinner will be ready in an hour!


  • 400g lamb leg steaks
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 125ml beef stock
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 125g orzo (risoni) pasta
  • 30g crumbled kefalograviera, parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • Handful of basil or marjoram leaves
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

1. Heat your slow cooker to low. Trim any fat from the lamb and discard. Cut each lamb steak in half.
2. Combine the tomatoes, tomato purée, stock, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, oregano and parsley in the bowl of the slow cooker. Generously season with salt and pepper and give everything a good stir. Add the lamb, then cover and cook for eight hours.
3. Stir through the orzo, cover and cook for one hour, until the lamb is very tender and the orzo is cooked.
4. Serve the casserole in bowls, scattered with the cheese and basil or marjoram leaves, and with lemon wedges on the side.

James Martin’s Spanish Adventure 80 Fantastic Recipes from Around Spain, with photographs by Dan Jones, is published by Quadrille, price £27

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