Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
It was hard not to feel the wanderlust this week. I’ve never been to the Mediterranean and it is one of my top picks for a holiday post-Covid. Our country this week, Cyprus, is in the heart of the turquoise Mediterranean Sea, off the coasts of Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. Check out these travel blog posts about the country:
We had lots of options for Cypriot dishes to try this week. After doing a bit of research and considering Mack’s recent wisdom teeth surgery, we settled on Kleftiko, a simple slow-cooked lamb dish. Kleftiko was highlighted on this post by CyprusIsland.net, this list by Nomad Paradise, this list by MapQuest, this list by MyCyprusTravel.com, and this list by CultureTrip.
I followed this simple and authentic recipe by Cyprus for Travellers:
We were spending this weekend in our camper so I made the marinade and added it to the lamb shanks in a sealed container the day before we left. I’m glad it worked out this way because it gave the lamb double the time to marinate and soak up all the yummy flavours. This marinade was probably one of the best I’ve ever had and I knew it before I even tasted it because it smelled so good. When we got to the camper, I chopped up the carrots and potatoes and added everything to a disposable roaster that fits in our teeny-tiny propane oven.
This dish took way longer to cook than I expected– but it wasn’t the meat that we were waiting on. The carrots needed hours to soften up. We finally sat down to eat at 9:00 pm but we didn’t mind as we had just been enjoying some drinks around the campfire while the oven did all the work. We served up our delicacy on plastic plates, the epitome of fine dining, and drizzled some mint sauce on the side.
This was my first time ever cooking lamb and I thought it turned out really good. I was right about the marinade and I would use it again in a heartbeat, perhaps on chicken, which is a little easier on the wallet 🙂 Overall the flavours weren’t heavy at all, it was a fresh dish but with a rich depth. And it was even better in the camper in the middle of nowhere.
We both thoroughly enjoyed this dish and we are very happy with our selection. We can’t wait to see what next weekend brings.