Don't let the length of the recipe daunt you! It was less of a process than it appears, and even if it was difficult, it was pretty much worth it. If I were to make any criticism of it at all was that the reduced braising liquid was still pretty runny and the sandwich was a huge dripping mess. Correction a huge, dripping, tasty mess. My husband wanted something crunchy in the sandwich, but that didn't stop him from having 2 ;). We all agreed it was a solid 4 stars. The only possibly difficult ingredient to procure is the pomegranate molasses. If you can't find it locally, you can get it on line but I made my own. I had made it for a Lebanese fried fish ages ago, and finished it off tonight in this Shawarma. The tahini sauce was wonderful and I am looking forward to having it on my sandwich at lunch tomorrow.
Braised Lamb Shawarma
For the lamb
4 bone-in lamb shoulder chops (about 10 -oz. each)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 -1/2 cups dry white wine or water
1 Tbs. ground cumin
4 medium cloves garlic smashed and peeled
1 large carrot cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
1 medium white onion peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2 Tbs. pomegranate molasses
1 -1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Oz (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
For the tahini sauce
2 medium cloves garlic minced
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 Cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 Cup tahini
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
For the pickled cabbage
1 -1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Cup thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/4 -small cabbage)
1/2 Tsp pomegranate molasses
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar more as needed
1/4 Tsp granulated sugar more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Six 9-inch flatbreads such as yufka, markouk (folded in half),
Braise the lamb
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350F.
Pat the lamb chops dry. Heat the oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet
over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the lamb chops,
flipping once, until well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total
per batch (add more oil for the second batch, if necessary). Season with
salt and pepper and transfer to a 9x13-inch roasting pan.
Add 1 cup of the wine to the skillet and bring to a simmer, scraping the
skillet with a wooden spatula to loosen any browned bits. Pour the wine
over the chops. Sprinkle with the cumin, then add the garlic, carrot,
onion, and the remaining 1/2 cup of wine. The liquid should come halfway
up the chops; if necessary, add water. Cover the pan with a double
thickness of aluminum foil and braise in the oven until the meat is fork-
tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Make the tahini sauce
Meanwhile, combine the garlic and lemon juice in a medium bowl; let sit
for 5minutes. Whisk in the yogurt, tahini, olive oil, and 3/4 tsp. salt
until smooth. Add 1 to 2 Tbs. water if necessary to achieve a thick yet
Make the pickled cabbage
Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the cabbage and
cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove
from the heat and stir in the pomegranate molasses, vinegar, and sugar.
Season to taste with salt, pepper, more vinegar, or sugar.
Finish the lamb
Transfer the lamb chops to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil to
keep warm. Strain the contents of the roasting pan through a medium-mesh
sieve into a medium bowl (you should have about 2 cups liquid); discard
the solids. Freeze the liquid until the fat rises to the surface, about
15 minutes, then skim it off and discard it. (Alternatively, use a fat
separator.) Transfer the liquid to a 3-quart saucepan. Boil over medium-
high heat until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, use your fingers to break the lamb into small chunks,
discarding the fat and bones.
Whisk the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and butter into the
braising liquid. Add the lamb and gently toss to coat. Season to taste
with salt and pepper.
Assemble the shawarma
If you're using store-bought flatbreads (or if you made them ahead),
warm the flatbreads in a 12-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over
medium heat. Arrange on a clean work surface. Divide the lamb among the
flatbreads, spreading it in a strip about 1 inch from the near edge. Top
the lamb with a few tablespoons of the cabbage and sauce. Roll the
shawarma up tightly, pulling back on the edge of the bread after folding
it over the filling and tucking the filling under with your fingertips,
to create a slender, burrito-like wrap. Rest the shawarma on their seam
side to keep them closed.
Heat the 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the
shawarma seam side down until browned and crisp on that side (do not
flip), about 3 minutes. Serve.
Make Ahead Tips
The sauce may be made up to 2 days ahead; refrigerate and return to room
temperature before using.
The cabbage may be made up to 2 days ahead; refrigerate and return to
room temperature before using.
The lamb may be made up to 2 days ahead; refrigerate and gently reheat