Lamb Exohiko

Apr 13th, 2010 | By | Category: Baking, Cheese, Featured, Greek, Greek Wine, Herbs, Lamb, Main, Phyllo

IMG_1463How would you feel if I presented you with a dish that presented you some of the favoured ingredients in Greek cuisine?  All wrapped-up in one dish? You get spinach (check), you get tomato (check), you get green pepper (check), you get tender pieces of lamb (check), Greek cheese in Cretan Graviera (check) and it’s all wrapped up in a packet of phyllo pastry (check)!

Here’s a version of “Exohiko” where a parcel of food is presented to you at the table. Exohiko dishes can appear wrapped in parchment, in aluminum foil or in this case, phyllo pastry. Here, you get to eat the dish, wrapping and all. This recipe is for four (you need eight sheets of phyllo) which means you’ll have leftover phyllo. My solutions to you? Make more than four (up to ten servings) or combine this recipe with with another.

With the remaining phyllo, you could make a smaller Portokalopita or whip up a filling of ricotta, Feta and egg, mix and season and fill and make some phyllo triangles. How about about phyllo cups filled with a Spanakopita filling? You have options – the rest of the package of phyllo doesn’t have to go waste.

On to the lamb Exohiko. The main ingredient of this dish is the lamb meat. I used the meat leftover from the Leg of Lamb I made this past Easter. The meat was succulent, tender and very flavorful. Fully aware that you might not have leftover lamb on hand, you will likely need to cook up some lamb. My suggestion to you is to purchase some stewing lamb, cut into cubes, season and saute them in a little oil, add some dry white wine, equal amount of stock and cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until tender. Now you can use the tender pieces of lamb for you very own lamb Exohiko with leftover lamb or stewed lamb. Either way, make sure your meat is juicy and tender.

Your other components are the filling of spinach, tomato, green pepper and cheese. There are two options with your spinach filling, boil and blanche fresh spinach or simply buy the pre-blanched frozen spinach. Most supermarkets sell this wonderful convenience product and it will save you some time. Thaw it, squeeze the water out and then saute it with some scallions and add some flavour with salt, pepper, wine and chopped fresh dill. For the this dish, add the tomato and green pepper slices near the end to soften before assembling the packettes.

The final component of your filling is the Graviera cheese. Fine Graviera cheese in Greeece is produced in Crete, Mytilini and Naxos. I like a firm, slightly sharp Graviera that will melt but not disappear. If you cannot find Graviera, seek out a firm Gruyere or other sheep’s milks cheese that’s more on the firm side.

At long last, the filling is assembled inside an envelope of buttered phyllo pastry and then baked until just golden. Serve your Exohiko with a salad and/or some roast potatoes and “dinner is served”.

Here in Toronto’s Greektown or The Danforth, a popular eatery named Mezes of Rhodes has had this dish on their menu since it’s inception and it’s still it’s most ordered entree.

This recipe is adapted from a Christine Cushing Food Network Canada show and it’s courtesy of Sue Zindros of Mezes. They used chicken on this program but I went hardcore Greek with the use of lamb.

For the Lamb Exohiko recipe and more, please buy my Everything Mediterranean cookbook.



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© 2010 – 2014, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

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41 Comments to “Lamb Exohiko”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bravo, this looks delicious!

  2. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Sounds delicious!

  3. Kevin says:

    This looks really tasty. I don’t tend to have lamb all that often but I am always pleased when I do. I think this is the perfect excuse to pick some up soon.

  4. Janet says:

    I missed this post! How on earth did I miss this post?? This meal has my name written ALL over it. It looks sooooo goooood!

  5. Peter M says:

    Janet Oops! I should slow down on my posting!

  6. countrygirlcityliving says:

    Hooray, I found it! Peter, this looks delicious. The recipe looks a bit intimidating, I might need some encouragement on this one. But wow does this look good. Efharisto (forgive my bad greek accent!)

  7. AskAthensBay says:

    Kalimera Petros, Bravo! Katapliktika! I’d love to meet you in Athens. I love to cook as well. I live in Vouliagmeni and we have a perfect coffee shop on the beach, Enplo. If you have time, drop me a line and we could meet for a Frappe.

  8. clewey says:

    I made this dish on Saturday evening,
    it turned out absolutely fantastic my friends were very impressed

  9. Peter, think Kefalotiri would be an okay substitute for the Graviera? How great would these be cut in 2-3 pieces for a mezes platter!?

  10. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kalofagas Greek Food. Kalofagas Greek Food said: New Blog post…Lamb Exohiko…tender pieces of lamb, tomato, spinach and green pepper wrapped in phyllo & baked, enjoy [...]

  11. MIa says:

    Excellent idea for lamb leftovers. Thanks

  12. everyone of these are a winner, great pix as well….thanks!

  13. Brilliant Peter. Love the concept…It looks quite similar to a “kleftiko”. The cheese is the perfect filling…great for the cooler weather too.

  14. Eleni says:

    Αν και το κρέας δεν είναι η αδυναμία μου, αλλά είναι το συζύγου μου, αυτό μια μέρα θα το δοκιμάσω οπωσδήποτε… looks tempting!!

  15. Manggy says:

    I’d of course say, mail it to me this instant! :)

  16. thats a nice one. all falvours melting together in the oven. fabulous.

  17. ELENA says:

    Delicious… delicious…. delicious!!!
    One of my favourite dishes!!
    Yours looks fabulous:)))

  18. OH MY!! Peter, this looks soooooo scrumptious & I have phyllo pastry! Love all the ingredients.

  19. How would I feel? I’d feel ecstatic. This is one of the best things I’ve seen on your blog – and there are so many fabulous things here.

  20. Rosa says:

    What a perfect combo! It can’t get any better!



  21. Jen says:

    Peter, this is perfect! I love all of the fabulous Greek flavors served up in this phyllo packet!

  22. Karen says:

    Beautiful presentation. I bet it was wonderful!

  23. Joan Nova says:

    It looks delicious, Peter, and I like that it includes all the food groups in a tasty package.

  24. Dragon says:

    I want one of those little bundles of joy right now. :)

  25. With a hot pocket like this, the French can throw their quiche out the window!

  26. Lizcupcakes says:

    I approve of all in one dishes :) This looks incredibly tasty!

  27. grace says:

    i’m being completely honest when i say that i would definitely eat one of these, and you know how i feel about eating those fluffy baby sheep. i love tomatoes, phyllo, peppers, spinach, and gruyere, so there’s no way i could help myself. you win, peter. my resistance has been defeated.

  28. What a beautiful presentation! I think everything looks better wrapped in phyllo.

  29. Foodjunkie says:

    Another lamb recipe! Actually this is a fantastic way to use left over lamb (although I like to eat it cold the next day…) :-)

  30. Cherine says:

    Wow, this looks scrumptious! You totally rocked that phyllo!

  31. kat says:

    Now that is a gourmet hot pocket ;)

  32. Not just favored Greek ingredients. I’m loving everything in that packet and I’m not even Greek! I’m just tasting that lovely pastry and that tender lamb with cheese getting all melty and tomato juice dripping everywhere. Mmmmmmm

  33. I am always searching for interesting ways to use the leftover filo. This would probably be delicious with chicken as well which I always have on hand….but I would never turn down the succulent lamb.

  34. kim says:

    looks like heaven – send me one!

  35. Maria says:

    I remember seeing your teaser pic of this on Facebook. It looks and sounds fantastic Peter! I have to admit (like Joanna did) I tend to grab pieces of cold lamb and munch on it that way the next day. But I will now keep this in mind to spruce up any lamb leftovers that we might have down the line.

  36. Marie says:

    You could sell these and make a fortune! I’m serious…

  37. Sophie says:

    Hello Peter!

    What a divine & tasty looking dish! Superb & top food this is!!

    Very appetizing pictures too!!

  38. Jan says:

    Peter this look AMAZING!! I hope you made one for me?!!

  39. Jamie says:

    How’d I feel? Pretty happy and very special! And I’d say thank you very much, Peter, for such a fantastic meal. This looks fabulously good!

  40. Those look really good! I like those nice big chunks of cheese in them. :)

  41. Lori Lynn says:

    I don’t know how I missed this. I am working on a recipe for a lamb dish and came over to search your blog for some inspiration. It doesn’t disappoint Peter! I am going to try adding spinach to my dish. Thanks, as usual.

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