Shawarma is probably one of the most recognizable Middle Eastern ethnic food names in the West, behind Falafel and Hummus. The name comes from the Turkish word çevirme which means “turning,” and where you have some deeply marinated layers of beef, lamb or chicken stacked on a vertical spit and slowly turning against a soft grilling fire for hours. The meat is then shredded and wrapped in a pita bread with garlic paste (chicken shawarma) or Tahini sauce (beef shawarma) and other goodies such as grilled tomatoes, chopped parsley, french fries, grilled onions, and salted Lebanese pickles.
Learn how to make an authentic and delicious Beef Shawarma Recipe right in your own home.
2 lbs of fatty beef cuts (roast cut/steak cuts/butter steak…)
5 cloves of garlic
½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
¼ cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon caraway
½ teaspoon cardamon
½ teaspoon of oregano or thyme
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon crushed peppercorn
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Tahini Sauce Ingredients
2 teaspoons of Tahini paste
1 cup of freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
3 gloves of garlic, crushed
a dash of Salt
½ cup of finely cut Italian parsley
- Mix the spices along with the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar in a blender for a couple of minutes. Don’t mix in the olive oil yet.
- Cut the beef into chunks of 4 inches long by no more than ⅔ inch in thickness.
- In a bowl, rub the meat with the marinade, sprinkle a bit of olive oil then rub again, cover and let marinate overnight in the fridge.
Grilling Shawarma Method 1: Panini Grill
- Lay the marinated shawarma chunks on a panini or George Foreman grill and cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Once cooked, shred the meat on a cutting board and serve hot.
Grilling Shawarma Method 2: Oven Roasting
- Lay the shawarma chunks in a Pyrex tray with a bit of marinade, cover the trap tightly with aluminum foil, then gently bake at 270-300F for 2 hours.
- Once cooked, shred the meat on a cutting board and serve hot. This roasting method will make the meat very tender and juicy and will almost fall apart.
Preparing the Tahini Sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk the the Tahini paste, crushed garlic, lemon juice and salt until you turn the paste into a sauce.
Serving the Shawarma
- Place about 4-6 ounces (to taste) of shredded shawarma in a pita bread along the diameter, sprinkle some Tahini sauce, add freshly grilled tomatoes, french fries, a garnish of Italian parsley.
- Roll and enjoy.