Vegan Greek-Style Roast “Lamb” (Kleftiko)

Kleftiko literally means “in the style of the klephts”, and traditionally this is lamb slow-baked on the bone, first marinated in garlic and lemon juice, originally cooked in a pit oven. It is said that the klephts, bandits of the countryside who did not have flocks of their own, would steal lambs or goats and cook the meat in a sealed pit to avoid the smoke being seen.

 

Well, in spite of my having seen my Greek Cypriot father prepare kleftiko many times in his restaurants, my vegan version thankfully involves no animal cruelty, yet contains all the essence of pleasure to be found in this iconic Greek dish.  And, by the way, many other similar dishes can be found in my recent book ‘YASOU’, which is full of Greek and Middle Eastern vegan delights !

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups wheat gluten – or Orgran make a gluten free alternative, available in the UK from here, or in the US from here (expensive on the US site unfortunately – maybe cheaper to order from the UK link)

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried mint

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp beetroot powder

½ tsp ground white pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp tahini

1 cup water

1 full tsp miso paste

 

EXTRA – a couple of cloves of garlic chopped into pieces, but large enough to handle with your fingers.

 

METHOD

 

Place dried ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Then add the wet ingredients, and spoon the lot in to your food processor, which you should set up with a plastic blade (not the metal one). Process for 1 minute until incorporated, then spoon out on to a clean surface, knead for a couple of minutes – add a tiny bit more flour if needed -and shape into your meat-free ‘lamb’ joint.

 

Now stick the pieces of garlic into the vegan joint and bring your broth to a boil (see recipe for broth below).

 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SIMMERING BROTH

6 cups spring water

2 Tbsp dark soya sauce

1 Tbsp vegetable granules

a few sprigs of fresh sage leaves

a few sprigs of rosemary

1 cup dry wine of your choice (I used red)

 

METHOD FOR THE BROTH

Place all the ingredients in a large casserole, and bring to a boil. When it reaches boiling point, gently place the vegan joint in it, cover and lower heat. Boil for 40 minutes, and turn the joint once or twice during the cooking process. Then remove the liquid stock from the joint and allow the joint to cool down for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare your joint mix.

 

MIX FOR ADDING TO THE JOINT IN THE BAKING DISH

salt to taste

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp date syrup

peppercorns

2 Tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp miso

fresh mint

1 tsp dried oregano

he juice of half a lemon

 

Place the ingredients in a food blender and blend until smooth – use the mixture for the joint.

 

EXTRAS

1 large onion chopped

lemon wedges from 1 lemon

4-5 potatoes cut into wedges – pre-boil for 15 minutes just to get them started

3-4 rosemary sprigs

peppercorns

parchment/grease proof paper

2 bulbs garlic, cut lengthways

 

METHOD AND ASSEMBLING THE DISH

Heat your oven to 355ºF (180ºC). Now, in a large oven dish place the joint on top of your parchment paper to separate it from the potatoes etc. Place the garlic halves in the corners of the paper around the joint, making sure there is enough slack paper to cover some of the joint afterwards. Now put some chopped garlic, mint and peppercorns on the joint and spoon the joint-mix on to the joint.

 

Place the chopped onions at the base of your dish, then surround them with tomato wedges around the edges of your dish. And now add the potato wedges on top of the onions.

 

Drizzle on olive oil and lemon juice and some salt.

 

Spoon on more of the joint mix only on the joint. Place sprigs of rosemary around the dish, place the dish in the oven for one and a half hours or until the potatoes turn golden and the joint is dry but dark caramel brown in colour. You will need to continue adding the joint mix sauce every 20 minutes to create a denser but flavoursome exterior.

 

Serve with a Greek salad, some hot pitta bread and a little wine – raise your glasses and enjoy !

 

Yassas !

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All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell mouthwateringvegan.com 2010

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO THE COMMENT BOX AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE TO LEAVE YOUR COMMENT ON THIS RECIPE.  THANK YOU.

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40 Responses to “Vegan Greek-Style Roast “Lamb” (Kleftiko)”

  1. Jude Says:

    This looks AMAZING. I don’t have a food processor – I have a Vitamix blender and a Kenwood Chef food mixer. The Kenwood has only metal attachments – the choices are a cake mixing whisk, a wire whisk (intended for beating cream/egg whites ) and a dough hook. Would one of those do? I am getting a food processor for Christmas but I don’t want to wait that long before I try this!

  2. Loubelle Says:

    Looks amazing. Do you use red or white wine for this recipe?

  3. Miriam Says:

    Both work Loubelle, but I believe I used a red.

  4. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Jude, I think this would work well with the attachment for blending cakes. Let me know how it goes as and when. 🙂

  5. Zach Says:

    Hi Miriam,

    Thanks for sharing your recipes, they look delicious. I’m hoping to make this one tomorrow, but I’m new to the vegan realm and thus new to Wheat Gluten. Pardon the lack of knowledge, I’m just wondering if the Wheat Gluten mentioned is the same as Seitan or is it some kind of powder?

    Thanks,
    Zach

  6. Miriam Says:

    Zach Hi – sorry for not getting back to you with your answer. You probably already made this, so will wait for your feedback and hope you enjoy it ! 🙂

  7. Vivienne Ben-Shir Says:

    I’ve never heard of beetroot powder, Miriam. Where can you get it?

  8. Miriam Says:

    Ebay UK has beetroot powder Vivienne, check them out !

  9. Thalia Says:

    Kalimera Miriam it’s sooo great to see these gorgeous recipes I’m a vegan Greek, always trialling In The kitchen and today I came across this site and as we speak am purchasing your yasou book which I found very inspiring, it’s good to see more middle eastern dishes especially Greek ones being veganized. Being brought up in a Greek household in Australia and marrying an Indian much inspiration is needed in the kitchen thank you thank you your my idol. Reading many of your recipes on this blog is wonderful your hard work is truly sensational may you go all the way. Can’t wait to see your upcoming work

  10. Miriam Says:

    Thalia Hi there, Kalimersou and thanks for dropping by here. My speciality food that I create is Middle Eastern, Greek and Indian cuisine. They hold a great culinary fascination for me. So glad you are enjoying the recipes and let me know how they go. Before I forget here is the links for you – it’s a small errata for YASOU, you can print it and attach it to your book, or jot it down.
    I look forward to your future comments on my blog & most of all Enjoy !

  11. Bree Says:

    I’m in awe of you, Miriam, and your extraordinary gift for cooking vegan foods. Thank you for existing, you beautiful soul:)

  12. Miriam Says:

    Thank you dear Bree for your kind words that put a huge smile on my face ! Cheers your way and look forward to your future comments on my blog ! 🙂

  13. Caroline Says:

    Quite fantastic actually … wow!!

  14. Dale Says:

    I made it two nights ago and while it isn’t as attractive as Miriam’s it was tasty and not too hard to make.

  15. Miriam Says:

    So glad you made and enjoyed it Dale ! 🙂

  16. Katyemma Bakes Says:

    That looks amazing! I bet it smells good too!!

  17. Miriam Says:

    It is Katyemma, and hope you make and enjoy it !

  18. Jude Says:

    Hi Miriam
    I finally got round to making this yesterday – my first attempt at seitan and so much easier than I ever imagined. I used the dough hook on my Kenwood Chef to mix and knead it and it did it perfectly. The cooking broth was so delicious that I could not bring myself to discard it, so I reduced it to a syrup-like consistency then added it to the other ingredients for basting whilst the joint was roasting. We really enjoyed it and it will become a regular in our household. Why isn’t it in Yasou? I have both your hardback books and assumed it would be in there but sadly it wasn’t so I had the “trauma” of balancing my laptop in the kitchen whilst cooking! Maybe I should just invest in a printer and make life a little easier! Please keep up the amazingly inspirational work, I use your books more than any others. x

  19. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Jude and thanks for supporting my work – so glad you love the recipes. The reason why it’s not in the book is because I created it after publication of it. Most basic printers these days are not too costly and jolly useful too ! Once you print the recipe, just keep it in a plastic folder in Yasou ! Hope you enjoy many more recipes and give it the thumbs up on Amazon for both my books would be greatly appreciated ! 🙂

  20. Lynn Says:

    I can’t wait to try this. Is the beetroot powder just for color? I could have a hard
    time finding it here in eastern Canada. Same with date syrup. Is that just
    for a touch of sweet and could I use honey which I use sometimes?

  21. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Lynn. Beetroot powder you can order it online – I have given the link for purchasing it just beneath the video (in the description). I would not omit it for 2 reasons. The 1st is the colour. The 2nd it gives off a slight earthy taste which works well in this recipe. You can order beetroot online. Hope you have subscribed to my channel for a weekly notification of my new work !
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsZDePKRz3k 🙂

  22. Nancy Says:

    I have read on other pages that seitan should not be boiled, rather simmered slowly. So would you recommend simmering rather than boiling, or does it not matter?

  23. Lee Says:

    Heya, I don’t own anything that can knead machine wise, I always knead my seitan by hand. Would it work for this? I can do it for as long as knead-ded (lol sorry)

  24. Miriam Says:

    Hi Lee – sure you can ! Let me know how it goes – kneading and all !

  25. Miriam Says:

    Nancy Hi there – having prepared this in this way, it worked for me – the point is that heat needs to be directed on to the ‘meat’ in order to create the right texture and ‘cook’ it through at the same time – let me know how it goes, and hope you enjoy my new YouTube Channel entitled ‘Mouthwatering Vegan TV’ – my 1st video being a vegan juicy steak (flambe), please subscribe if you wish – I am posting weekly !

  26. Miriam Says:

    P.S. BTW hope you enjoy my new YouTube Channel entitled ‘Mouthwatering Vegan TV’ – my 1st video being a vegan juicy steak (flambe), please subscribe if you wish – I am posting weekly !

  27. Emily Says:

    Hi Miriam, excited to try this! Two questions: I don’t own a processor, can I make this by hand? Also, do you have any nutritional info for this dish? I’m on a very low carb vegan diet right now and have to stay under 20 net carbs a day, eek! Thanks in advance.

  28. Miriam Says:

    Hi Emily, you can try making this by hand if you wish. I never have made this by hand, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Regarding nutritional info, sorry I don’t have that info I’m afraid. Whatever diet you’re on all I can say is that a dish like this won’t be a staple, so perhaps you can allow yourself the indulgence ! Hope you enjoy it !

  29. Allison Says:

    Hi. Have you made this with Orgran? I was wondering how it would turn out. Thanks.

  30. Miriam Says:

    Hi Allison, I haven’t tried this with Orgran, so I can’t really anticipate the outcome, by all means if you try it with it and it succeeds, let me know. Cheers !

  31. David Says:

    I just tried making seitan last week. It looked and smelled really good. I made one batch that didnt call for baking and it turned out pretty good, it was tasty and dense and since it sat in the boiling liquid, very moist. The second batch needed to bake for an hour like this recipe. It ended up a pretty flavorful, but nothing more than just a heavy load of bread. Lots of evenly sized bubbles inside, pretty fluffy. It made some good sandwiches, but was suppose to be the lunchmeat not the bread. Do you have any ideas what I might have done wrong?

  32. Miriam Says:

    Hi David, I haven’t made a great deal of seitan over the years, so I do not consider myself an expert. It’s difficult to say what might have gone ‘wrong’ in your second batch – ie the bubbles you mentioned – mine had none that I can recall of. Often times it can be to do with the temperature it was cooked. Perhaps you can use my ingredients for the flavour and then make it without having to bake it, since you enjoyed the non baked seitan. If so, let me know if this works better for you. Cheers !

  33. Vanessa M. Says:

    My husband and I made this and it is one of our favorite seitan recipes! However, we didn’t know how much mint to use at all and went very sparingly with 8 leaves. We weren’t able to taste it at all, obviously – silly us! How much mint would you recommend using? We have at least 30 plants in our backyard, so we have plenty available. Thank you!

  34. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Vanessa, and thanks for dropping by here. Go ahead and triple the amount of mint, but remember each to their own when it comes to personal taste. So glad you love my seitan joint ! Hope you enjoy many more recipes from my blog !

  35. Tracy Says:

    I’m assuming you make this with vital wheat gluten flour, not finished seitan. You’re making seitan here, yes.

  36. Tom Says:

    Miriam,Is there a way to substitue something for the olive oil? I am trying to avoid added oil in my food. Thanks.

  37. Miriam Says:

    Hi Tracy, to answer your question, not in the most conventional of ways due to the fact that this recipe is not a common one, so it’s a tad quirky. In any event, I hope you make and enjoy it !

  38. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Tom, the simple answer to your question for this recipe is no for many reasons. These type of Greek/Cypriot recipes always have the addition of olive oil, it’s like taking the character out of it thereby leaving an anaemic state of culinary affairs. Lamb is a very greasy and fatty meat, trying to create a vegan alternative in itself is virtually impossible, so to take the oil out of it is like saying you’re going to make chocolate without cocoa. Your alternative would be to use a little less than I suggested – it’s the type of recipe that you would make once maybe twice a year, so avoiding oil is fine, but a handful of times a year should not cause a huge problem – be sure to use a very good quality olive oil if so (cold pressed). Cheers and hope this helps.

  39. Tom Says:

    Well said, Miriam! I will use extra virgin cold-pressed. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated.

  40. Miriam Says:

    Hope you enjoy it Tom !

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