Scotch lamb shawarma

This week’s tasty treat is my take on Levantine Arab shawarma using Scotch lamb. I think it’s the best meat for making this dish at home, it has a great ratio of nice fat that will render during the slow cooking, almost self-basting in the spiced juices. ‘Shawarma’ is actually the name of the rotating spit where slices of spiced meat are layered with slices of fat to keep it tender – the fat content is key.

Once the lamb is out the oven and rested, simply slice it very thinly and combine it with all the cooking juices from the pan – the aroma is amazing. Serve with warm fresh flatbreads and a mix of salads and sauces. This lends itself to an informal gathering of friends and family where everyone can make their own personal wrap – great fun and a bit messy, so make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand!

Once you have mastered this lamb version change it up with beef, chicken or even venison. I have found that a combination of chicken, lamb and beef works great, as every mouthful offers something different. With the salads and sauces, the sky is the limit. Just remember you have to pick it up to eat it, so don’t overfill your breads. Enjoy.

The Method

Serves 6

1.5kg butterflied Scotch lamb leg

3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1tbsp ground coriander
1tbsp ground cumin
1tbsp dried chilli flakes
2tsp cayenne pepper
2tsp smoked paprika
lemon juice
olive oil
sea salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 / 180 degrees C.
2. Place marinade ingredients in a food processor and blitz adding olive oil and lemon juice to make a paste.
3. Place butterflied lamb in a roasting tin and massage in the marinade paste
4. Add a splash of water to the tray and cover lightly with foil.
5. Roast for 2 hours basting every 30 minutes or so.
6. Remove foil and return to oven for 30 minutes to caramelise crust.
7. Remove from oven to rest for 30 minutes.
8. Slice lamb leg thinly and return to roasting tray and combine with all the resting jus.
9. Season with sea salt, pepper and a skoosh of lemon juice.
10. Serve with flatbreads, salad and hummus.