Have you ever had the pleasure of eating a beef or lamb shawarma sandwich? If not, allow me to introduce you to this tasty Middle Eastern equivalent of the Greek gyros sandwich. For starters, shawarma is made with marinated lamb, beef, or chicken. The marinade includes classic Middle Eastern spices like allspice, cinnamon, and cardamom. Next, the meat is stacked vertically on a spit, and cooked for many hours. Like gyros, it’s sliced off the spit and served in pita bread. So, if you don’t have shawarma available where you live, roll up your sleeves, and make your own.
Lamb Shawarma Recipe
One of the reasons I love cooking is that I get to take simple ingredients, and with a little effort and creativity, end up with something delicious to eat. Personally, I prefer eating from the comfort of home. I guess you can say I’m a homebody. Most nights, I’d rather be home cooking my own dinner, while enjoying a glass of wine. So when I’m craving shawarma, I want to be able to make it myself. But like most folks, I don’t have a spit handy, or hours to cook dinner. As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” After some trial and error in the kitchen, and experimenting with different spice combinations, I settled on this recipe. And guess what, it’s been a hit with the family too! That’s always an added bonus, am I right?
Beef or Lam Shawarma Serving Suggestions
Shawarma is served wrapped in flatbread or pita bread. Additionally, shawarma is served drizzled with tahini sauce and accompanied with a side of hummus and pickled turnips. If you’re watching your carbs like I am most of the time, you can wrap the meat in a low-carb tortilla instead. I like the addition of feta cheese, although that’s not how they usually serve it in restaurants. Finally, finish off your sandwich with sliced tomatoes and onions, and boom, you can officially kick that restaurant habit!
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Easy beef or lamb shawarma that you can make at home!
- 1-1/2 lbs lamb or beef
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom
- 1 T. za'atar
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp. dried mint
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 T. white wine vinegar
- 2 T olive oil
- Slice meat into strips.
- Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl to make the marinade. Pour over the meat and marinate for a minimum of two hours.
- Heat a castiron skillet for a few minutes. Remove the meat from the marinade and cook in batches. Don't overcrowd the pan. Repeat with the remaining meat.