In the Netherlands, most shawarma is made from pork. But authentic shawarma is originally made from lamb. Large slices of lamb shoulder and leg are skewered and grilled all around. Then, thin strips are cut from it, which you stuff into a pita.
We rarely make enough shawarma to be able to skewer it on a spit, but we wanted to make authentic shawarma once.
We found this 2-kilo lamb leg at our local butcher. It came with the bone, but that was no problem. We can easily remove it. Just follow the bone with a flexible fillet knife so as little meat as possible is lost. Always cut away from your other hand so the blade doesn’t accidentally end up in that hand.
If you find this too challenging, you can ask your butcher to do it.
Then, we trim the silver skin and tough pieces of fat from the meat. Since we will grill the meat quickly in thin strips, the tough fat won’t have time to become tender and will only create flare-ups.
We remove the silver skin because we will season the meat, and the silver skin would only prevent these seasonings from reaching the meat.
After that, we slice the pieces of lamb leg into slices about a centimetre 1/2 inch) thick. Slightly thicker or thinner is also fine. Just keep in mind that different thicknesses will have different cooking times.
We use our shawarma spice mix for this lamb, which we’ve slightly adjusted. The old blend was already good, but we found the taste even better with different proportions.
We grill the lamb on both sides without letting the seasoning burn. It’s a matter of watching it and flipping it in time. That’s what makes it fun to do.
We place the pieces of lamb already done at the edge of the kettle, where it’s slightly cooler, to make room for warming up the pita bread. Three minutes on each side is enough.
We thinly slice the grilled pieces of lamb leg against the grain and stuff them into the pita bread. Add some lettuce, tomato, and cucumber, and of course, all it needs now is a big dollop of garlic sauce.
This is our lamb leg shawarma. Let us know in the comments below if you decide to make it. Even better, please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you’ve created.
- Leg of lamb
- Pita bread
- Iceberg lettuce
- Green peppers
- Garlic sauce
For the Shoarma Seasoning
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp garlic granules
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Remove the bone from the lamb leg and trim away the silver skin and tough pieces of fat. Then, cut the loose meat into slices about a centimetre thick.
- Mix the shawarma spice mix ingredients and sprinkle an even layer on both sides of the meat. Let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- Prepare a barbecue for grilling. Place the slices of lamb leg on the grate and grill the meat on both sides until it reaches an internal temperature of 65-70°C (149-158°F). Meanwhile, warm up the pita bread.
- Slice the slices of lamb leg into thin strips and cut open the pita bread.
- Fill the pita bread with the meat and anything else you like.