A whole lamb, rubbed with mountain herbs, spiked with garlic and cooked by lowering it slowly through the day into a fire pit, is something I like to imagine, read and even write about. In Turkey it is known as tandir kebab, and I know how it should taste–melting off the bone, slightly smoky, conjuring up memories of stepping on short meadow grass on a hot day, of scrambling over rocky scrub, and swimming in the Aegean. Best of all, the carcase is shaken over a dish to let the meat slip from the bone, with a stuffing made from currants, nuts, onions and herbs mixed with rice.The past masters at this were the klephts, Greek mountaineers and villagers who had turned bandit. The sheep was rustled, and the pit hid the smoke issuing from their mountain lairs. If you have space, and no need to hide the smoke, you can cook a whole or half lamb by a fire in about seven hours.
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