A Durrell family feast: Kokkinisto lamb zaptopec

A Durrell family feast: Kokkinisto lamb zaptopec

A Durrell family feast: Kokkinisto lamb zaptopecBy Weekend Reporters Published: 22:30 GMT, 15 March 2019 | Updated: 22:30 GMT, 15 M

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A Durrell family feast: Kokkinisto lamb zaptopec

Now it’s your turn to taste the meals that Gerry and co most enjoyed during their delicious days on Corfu, with these recipes adapted from an enchanting new book 

This heartwarming kokkinisto lamb zaptopec recipe is a juicy meat dish for a family dinner

This heartwarming kokkinisto lamb zaptopec recipe is a juicy meat dish for a family dinner

In My Family And Other Animals, the first book in the Corfu trilogy, Gerry’s brother Lawrence (Larry) sent an invitation to their friend, the naturalist Theodore Stephanides, to join them for a meal and he arrived with the poet Zatopec, who had caught the wrong boat for Bosnia, ended up in Athens and boarded the next boat back to Corfu, bringing with him several crates of wine. 

There is a recipe in Louisa Durrell’s papers, probably from their housekeeper Lugaretzia, which uses lamb, red wine and tomatoes. 

Here it’s called Kokkinisto (which means reddened) Lamb Zatopec, in honour of the provider of the wine. It takes a few days to make.

Serves 4-6

  • 8 lamb leg steaks
  • Salt
  • ½ a bottle of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • A pinch of oregano
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 300ml (½pt) water
  • A small handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

To serve

  • Rough country bread and boiled rice

Chop the lamb into chunks, rub with salt, and place in a bowl or dish with the red wine and bay leaves. 

Leave to marinate overnight. Remove the lamb in the morning and reserve the wine liquor. 

In a pan, heat the olive oil, add the lamb and fry quickly until glazed brown, stirring as necessary.

Remove the lamb to a dish, reduce the heat and fry the onions and garlic until the onions become transparent.

Add the reserved marinating liquor, chopped tomatoes, and the oregano, cinnamon and cloves. 

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Return the lamb to the pan, add the water and bring to the boil. 

Reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ hours, until the meat is tender, adding water as necessary to prevent it boiling dry.

Leave to stand overnight, reheat the following day and serve sprinkled with parsley and with bread and boiled rice to soak up the sauce.

Adapted from Dining With The Durrells by David Shimwell, published by Hodder on 31 March, £16.99. Order a copy for £13.59 until 30 March at mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640, p&p is free on orders over £15

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