Pulled Lamb Shawarma Sandwich - Falastin, Sami Tamimi, Tara Wigley

Pulled Lamb Shawarma Sandwich - Falastin, Sami Tamimi, Tara Wigley


  • 3 onions, 1 roughly chopped and the other 2 quartered into wedges
  • 2 garlic bulbs, 1 cut in half horizontally, & 8 cloves from the second bulb roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 cm (25g) piece of ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbs each ground cumin & ground coriander
  • 2 tsp each smoked paprika, ground turmeric & ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2-2.5kg lamb shoulder, bone in
  • 700ml good-quality chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, to serve


  • 200g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup (60g) tahini
  • 1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sumac


  • 2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Parsley leaves, picked, to serve
  • Mint leaves, picked, to serve
  • 8 store-bought pita breads


  1. To make the spice paste, place the chopped onion into a food processor with the chopped garlic and ginger. Whiz until finely minced, then add the parsley and spices. Whiz for 10 seconds, until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the vinegar, oil, 21/4 tsp of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Whiz to form a coarse paste, then transfer to a non-metallic container large enough to hold the lamb.

  2. Pat lamb dry and liberally pierce all over with a small, sharp knife. Add to spice paste and coat generously, so all sides are covered. Cover with foil and leave to marinate, refrigerated, overnight. Take lamb out of fridge about an hour before going into the oven – you want it to be room temperature rather than fridge-cold.

  3. Preheat oven to 140°C fan-forced. Put the quartered onion and remaining head of garlic into the centre of a large roasting tray and pour over chicken stock. Sit the lamb on top, cover tightly with foil and bake for 4 hours. Remove from the oven, discard the foil and bake for a further 1 hour 30 minutes, increasing the oven temperature to 160°C fan-forced towards the last 30 minutes of cooking time. The lamb is ready when it is tender and easily pulls away from the bone. Set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes, before using 2 forks to roughly shred the meat directly in the pan, gathering as much of its juices as possible. Transfer the shredded lamb, onions, garlic and any of the pan juices to a serving bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and set aside.

  4. For the sumac yoghurt, place the yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice, 2 tbs water, sumac and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl and whisk well to combine. When ready to serve, lay out all the various condiments, along with the pita, to let everyone make up their own shawarma sandwich.
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