• Cyprus Cooking by Liz

Sunday's roast - Psito






Sunday's roast or Psito as it is called here on Cyprus, the easiest and at the same time most delicious meal for Sundays. I always say that the Cypriot women knew how to cook! Meals prepared in one casserole in the morning and the food can easily be warmed up for all family members who come home at different times. In earlier days when the family was working the land it was a great comfort to come home to a nice stew including for the wife and mother as she was responsible for the meals and also giving a hand wherever necessary, so to come home after a hard day she didn't have to cook as the stew was ready. The same is true for Sunday's roast, after the church service that would end around 10 o'clock, this meal is easy prepared, placed into the oven and it cooks by itself, time for family with coffee and cake. At lunchtime all would gather around the kitchen table awaiting the roast as the aroma already filled the house and all were anxious to eat.

With time most households exchanged their wood ovens in the yard with gas or electric ovens in the kitchen, which were easier to handle, but Sunday's roast baked in the wood oven obviously tastes much better!






Ingredients:




  • 1 kg goat or young lamb's meat

  • (1kg for 3 persons)

  • 2 small to medium potatoes per person

  • 300 ml olive oil

  • 400 ml water

  • salt, pepper, bayleaves and oregano


Optional: tomatoes, green peppers or any other vegetables that can go in a roast.

(carrots, gourgettes, onion, garlic)








Method:




Today the roast is being baked in the wood oven in the yard. Fill the oven well with dry wood and branches that burn easily, once it burns well add larger blocks of wood. The oven needs to be heated well, the bricks inside should color white, then the oven is ready for use. This of course needs more time than an electric oven.

When baked in an electric oven at home, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.




Ask your butcher for 1 kg lamb's or goat's meat. From a young lam or goat as the meat does not have that particular strong taste a full grown lamb has, some do not like that strong taste.. Keep the meat in one piece, just ask the bones to be cut but not the skin, it should look like the picture on the left and below.








The skin side of the meat.
















While the oven is getting ready, prepare the meat and potatoes.















Take a stainless steel oven dish size depending on the amount of food being baked. The dish used here is 30 cm diameter.

Peel and wash the potatoes and cut them in 3 parts of halves. Wash the tomatoes and peppers and cut in large pieces. Place all in the dish, add all spices and hussle. Add oil and water. Potatoes should be half to 2/3 covered by oil and water.






Place the meat with the skin up on top of the potatoes, sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, bayleaves and oil.














Place baking paper on top of the meat.
















Cover the dish with aluminium foil. This is to protect the meat from burning in the extremely hot oven. The roast does not need to be covered when baked in an electric oven, unless you decide to go for a stroll and a coffee and you may be delayed coming home. Before serving the meal, uncover the meal and bake some more to get a nice roast brown color, if necessary.







Only charcoal remains in the oven, push it aside with a spade and place the dish in the oven, push it towards the middle of the oven. Close the oven with it's iron door and bake for 2 to 3 hours.











Sunday's roast is ready, looking delicious, best served with a village salad and yoghurt or tzantiki.







Enjoy! - Καλή όρεξη!





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