Lamb Shawarma

30 May 2020 By

Lamb Shawarma is 100%, A Big Chunk of Meat!

Shawarma is a perfect menu for gatherings as it’s easy to make loads; can be prepared ahead of time and cooked on the day it is required. Plus any leftovers can be reheated for another day.

With flavours that are simple to prepare with amazing results; this is rustic food made for sharing. You simply leave your guests to help themselves from a table laden with this aromatic platter and made even more inviting by your choice of interesting accompaniments.

This version of Lamb Shawarma uses my Coriander Curry Paste, as it has all the elements required to construct a shawarma marinade including coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, cardamom, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I like to add a generous amount of Spanish sweet paprika to my paste to make it an ultra-bright marinade.

My preferred cut of meat is a lamb shoulder with bone in or butterflied; but of course you can use a butterflied leg of lamb as well. It will be noticeably leaner and meatier, and therefore less fatty and juicy compared to a shoulder cut. I find the shoulder better suited for reheating, especially if you are using leftover shredded lamb shawarma as a filling for wraps.

For serving as wraps, prepare some lightly toasted soft flatbreads, hummus, minted salad and tangy yogurt.

Ingredients − Serves 8

  • 2.5 kg shoulder lamb (bone in) or 2.1 kg butterflied lamb leg
  • 2 cups / 500 ml water or stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon for serving
  • Tahini yoghurt or honey yoghurt for drizzling (whisk to combine 3 tablespoons of either tahini or runny honey with 100g of natural Greek pot set yoghurt)
  • Coriander and mint leaves and pomegranate for garnishing

Shawarma Paste

  • ¼ cup / 65 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 – 3 tbsp / 40 – 60 ml lemon juice
  • ½ jar Latasha’s Kitchen Coriander Curry Paste
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp flat seeds of green cardamoms
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sweet or smoked paprika

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  1. Place Shawarma Paste ingredients into a food processor starting with the wet ingredients and process until a smooth thick paste forms. It should be a wet paste that can be slathered onto the lamb.
  2. Place lamb in a large dish. Rub all over with the paste, cover and leave to marinade overnight for at least 24 hours in the fridge.
  3. When ready to cook, pre-heat oven to 180˚C convection or 160˚C fan forced. Lamb must be at room temperature so make sure its out of the fridge for at least a couple of hours,
  4. Line a large non-reactive roasting tray with a double layer of baking paper and position the lamb with the fat side up. Pour water or stock around and seal tightly with foil.
  5. Roast for 3 hours, removing from the oven every hour to baste the meat with the pan juices. This is especially essential if you’re using meat that’s not butterflied.
  6. After 3 hours prod the lamb gently through the foil – it should feel soft to the touch. If it doesn’t, cook for an additional ½ hour still covered with the foil.
  7. Once the meat is soft to touch, remove the foil, baste again and return to oven without foil for 20-25 minutes to get a nice crust.
  8. Remove lamb from oven and loosely re-cover with foil to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Shred the lamb using 2 large forks or slice if preferred and transfer to a large serving platter. Squeeze lemon juice over lamb, top with reserved pan juices, drizzle with tahini or honey yoghurt and serve.

Serving Suggestions:

  1. To serve Lamb Shawarma as wraps:
    • Toasted flatbreads.
    • Garlicky hummus.
    • Fresh lettuce, tomato and mint salad.
    • Tangy Yoghurt with Grated Cucumber –
      Place 500 g plain Greek pot set yoghurt on a large muslin cloth and hang for 3 hours to drain. Grate 2 Lebanese cucumbers and squeeze out the juice. Place the yoghurt in a bowl and mix in 2 tbsp finely chopped mint, juice of ½ lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, one minced clove garlic and the grated cucumber. Set aside for 30 minutes.
    • Fresh chopped coriander for garnish
  2. More substantial table accompaniments to enjoy alongside Lamb Shawarma:
    • Orange Pomegranate Couscous –
      Bring to boil 1½ cups vegetable or chicken stock and 1 cup fresh orange juice. Lower heat to simmer and gradually add 2 cups couscous into hot stock then zest of 1 large orange. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey and 25 g butter then turn the heat off. Cover with a lid and leave for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork. Stir through lots of finely chopped parsley and mint, fresh pomegranate, salt, pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to taste.
    • Herb roasted eggplant, zucchini and pumpkin medley.
    • A fruity nutty pilaf made with rice or other grains and topped with sultanas, pistachios or cashews.
    • 250 ml of warm extra virgin olive oil combined with 1½ tbsp harissa.
    • Latasha’s Kitchen Eggplant Kasaundi or Zingy Tomato Chutneys stirred through 300 ml sour cream or mixed with labneh.
    • Labneh and hummus.
    • Tahini yoghurt or honey yoghurt dressing – add 3 tablespoons tahini or your favourite runny honey to natural Greek pot set yoghurt