Lamb Shawarma

Lamb Shawarma is a spicy barbequed lamb. It is best eaten cut into slices or small pieces with pitta bread, salads and yoghurt.  Make this with a butterflied leg of lamb. It’s fantastic.
This dish is good because you can prep the lamb in advance and have it marinading for a couple of hours. The lamb cooks on the BBQ with little supervision (as long as you have the temperature right) and delicious smells tempt your guests. While the lamb rests you can roll out your pitta bread dough and cook the fresh pitta breads on the BBQ after the lamb. By the time you sit the salads on the table, it’s time to serve the lamb. It’s a great sharing meal.
After marinating I cook it opened out on the barbecue. It only takes about 20 minutes to cook at a medium heat, depending on your bbq size. I use a temperature probe to ensure it is cooked to my taste, which is caramelised tasty outside with a pink inside on the thicker sections. You must rest it after cooking for about 20 minutes somewhere lukewarm to get the best result.
It’s hard to go wrong with this if you serve it with Lebanese style salads, yoghurt, tahini and some homemade pitta bread.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ a cinnamon stick
  • ½ a nutmeg, grated
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • ¾ tbsp Maldon sea salt

Wet

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 40g chopped coriander, stems and leaves
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 120ml groundnut oil
  • 1 leg of lamb butterflied with the bone removed

Method

  1. Grind and mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together and add to the dry.
  3. Rub over the lamb and leave to marinade for up to 24 hours.
  4. Cook the leg on a hot BBQ at a medium heat for 20-30 minutes.
Once the lamb shawarma is cooked sit it somewhere warm to rest before slicing up thin enough to put in pittas.
Stuff chunks of the lamb shawarma into pitta bread with yoghurt and salads.

Lamb Scottadito

These are little barbequed lamb chops designed to be eaten with your hands. Known as lamb scottadito in Italian cookery, this is a brilliant way to speed up the cooking of lamb cutlets. Kids love them prepared like this because you can pick them up with your fingers (scottadito refers to burning your fingers in your rush to eat.) Best cooked on a barbecue.
Salsa verde is a lovely sauce to go with the cutlets, this quantity probably does 8-9 cutlets.  You probably want 3 cutlets per person. Increase the salsa verde quantities for more servings.

Ingredients

  • A rack of lamb (or more then one if you need), French trimmed – which just means with the bones stripped and cleanly showing
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
For the salsa verde
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp small capers in vinegar, or salted – rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 anchovy fillet (packed in oil), drained and finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Make the salsa verde, mix together all the chopped ingredients in a bowl, then add the mustard and olive oil, stir well to amalgamate. Check and adjust the seasoning. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the lamb.
  2. Cut the rack of lamb into individual cutlets.
  3. Now beat them out slightly before cooking. Put each one on a chopping board and lay a sheet of clingfilm on top. Using a rolling pin, or the flat part of a heavy knife or cleaver, gently hit the meaty part so it flattens to half the original thickness and spreads to twice the width.
  4. Cook on a barbecue or a ridged griddle pan. Brush both sides of the flattened cutlets with olive oil, then sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Place the cutlets carefully on the hot pan or grill and cook for a maximum of 1 minute on each side, less if this seems too long.
  5. I use my blowtorch to finish the cutlets. Sometimes the bones (which cook slower) can be a bit bloody and this isn’t very appetising. So I take the blowtorch very quickly around the edge of the bones and cutlets to finish them off before serving.
Serve the lamb scottadito on warmed plates and drizzle over the salsa verde. Serve warm.