Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
rajsuman

Shawarma

Recommended Posts

Pretty cool thread, I'm curious Melkor, how are you serving your shawarma? Are you going to eat in a sandwich or a platter? What condiments/garnish are you planning to eat it with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uh... I haven't gotten that far. It'll probably end up being served as a plater - pita rubed with olive oil, salt, and paprika tossed under the broiler, hummus, babba ganoush, etc.

I suspect I can cook the meat long enough to have enough for dinner and still have the middle part uncooked. It should then be possible to pull it off the grill, stick it in the fridge, and cook the rest of it the next day. It's not like the shawarma shops here are going through an entire spike in a day. chefzadi's suggestion of sandwiches with harissa the next day for lunch sounds too good to pass up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All these serving idea sound good. I would add tahini sauce (taratoor), basically tahini, cumin, garlic and lemon juice thinned with water if necessary. Also some middle eastern pickles like cucumbers and turnips. And definitly a sprinkling of fresh shopped Italian parsley to finich it off.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are so many ways to have it, with harissa is certainly one way, tahini (as Foodman suggested) or yogurt sauces are other options. I've seen people eat their shawarma with a heavy dose of raw garlic puree and nothing else.

I am not too sure about cooking (and eating) it partially and repeating that process the next day. The shawarma shops i frequent here in NY make a new batch every day. It might have some negative effect on your meat but I might be wrong though. Chefzadi's expertise could definitely be of help on this one..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen alot of kebab shops in France taking out partial pieces (yesterdays leftovers) in the morning before they open. Alot of the shops have the rotisserie in or near the front window. I can't say it's common practice thoughs, since I've also noticed they try to sell out of it before they close. I've must have eaten hundreds if not thousands of kebab sandwiches over there and I;ve never gotten sick. And couldn't tell whether or not it was a fresh piece for the day or partial from the day before.

Maybe the harissa masked the taste of meat gone bad? LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The meat is in the fridge, where it'll spend the next night or two - we'll figure that out later. Here's what I've done so far.

1.jpg

about a tsp each of fennel seeds, coriander, and cumin - from here they are toasted in a skillet and dumped into the mortar

2.jpg

crushed red pepper, black peppercorns, and some coarse gray salt are added

3.jpg

the whole mess is ground together

4.jpg

turmeric and saffron are added (saffron was bloomed in about a tbs of hot water)

5.jpg

3 large cloves of garlic and about a quarter of a medium onion

6.jpg

these are then added into the spice mixture

7.jpg

the oregano in the garden was looking as good as I had hoped

8.jpg

it also goes into the mix

9.jpg

about a cup and a half of plain yoghurt is mixed in to complete the marinade

10.jpg

i ended up getting about 3 pounds of lamb and 1/2 a pound of lamb fat - the lamb was sliced into wide strips, the fat into thin strips about width and thickness of bacon

11.jpg

the lid goes on and into the fridge it goes

I was strongly considering assembling everything before putting it in the fridge, but I can't imagine I'll have much luck getting it onto the rotisserie spike in one piece. I'll worry about assembly later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far, so good. I'm not at all sure if this is going to hold together when I slice it, but time will tell.

12.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good. The onions (?) at the end helps to keep it together?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looking good. The onions (?) at the end helps to keep it together?

That's the idea. It's one onion cut in half the wrong way, in theory it'll hold the center together better than the prongs otherwise would. I don't think it'll hurt the flavor any either. I gave the whole thing a squeeze of lemon juice before it went on. I'm going to grill a couple of lemons cut side down and continue to add some juice every once in a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

13.jpg

14.jpg

It's not bad for a first try. The meat at least on the outside layer didn't hold together like it should, maybe the inner parts will. I think it's impractical to make on this scale, next time I think I'll try something more like 10 or 15 pounds of lamb so it can be cut into larger slices and will cook more slowly. As far as taste goes, I'm pretty happy with it - next time I think I'll use more cumin and coriander. I like the tang from the yoghurt - the taste is different from any other shawarma I've had. I'm curious to make it with an oil based marinade next to compare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not bad indeed, I admire the bravery! Shawarma is something I grew up with but nobody I know (at least not in my house) dared to make it at home. In Lebanon, shwarma is marinated with olive oil and loads of vinegar with other spices. This is what gives it a very tangy taste. I would suggest trying that next time.

So what did you end up eating it with and how?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not bad indeed, I admire the bravery! Shawarma is something I grew up with but nobody I know (at least not in my house) dared to make it at home. In Lebanon, shwarma is marinated with olive oil and loads of vinegar with other spices.  This is what gives it a very tangy taste. I would suggest trying that next time.

So what did you end up eating it with and how?

I'm still not sure about the idea of marinating the meat in vinegar for a long time. I'll try it next time. This marinade would be perfect for lamb kabobs, and lamb kabobs would be a perfect dinner on a ski trip. Next weekend perhaps.

The stuff on the plate pictured earlier was a snack. The rest of it is almost ready as is some tahini sauce, hummus, baba ghanoush, and toasted pita. MsMelkor will likely insist on a salad or some other healthy nonsense, so that’ll likely end up on the table as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not bad indeed, I admire the bravery! Shawarma is something I grew up with but nobody I know (at least not in my house) dared to make it at home. In Lebanon, shwarma is marinated with olive oil and loads of vinegar with other spices.  This is what gives it a very tangy taste. I would suggest trying that next time.

So what did you end up eating it with and how?

My american grandparents really love shawarma -- my mom wanted to make it for them when we were visiting. She had the brilliant idea of baking steak-umms with the onion/tomato/vinegar marinade.

I do not recommend this.

(Sorry mom, most of the time your instincts are right on. :rolleyes:)

PS -- what if you tried adding the vinegar either right before cooking or sprinklng some on the chopped meat?


Edited by Behemoth (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This marinade would be perfect for lamb kabobs, and lamb kabobs would be a perfect dinner on a ski trip.

That really caught my attention, and a little off topic:

I am a ski nut myself, and I have never thought of lamb kebobs as a perfect dinner on a ski trip , maybe fondue or raclette, but kebobs? :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My american grandparents really love shawarma -- my mom wanted to make it for them when we were visiting. She had the brilliant idea of baking steak-umms with the onion/tomato/vinegar marinade.

I do not recommend this.

(Sorry mom, most of the time your instincts are right on. :rolleyes:)

icon8.gif Yick. icon8.gif

PS -- what if you tried adding the vinegar either right before cooking or sprinklng some on the chopped meat?

There's some leftover, I'll try that when I reheat it.

15.jpg

I pulled the meat when it was at medium rare on the inside (and the grill ran out of gas:blink:)

16.jpg

The end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This marinade would be perfect for lamb kabobs, and lamb kabobs would be a perfect dinner on a ski trip.

That really caught my attention, and a little off topic:

I am a ski nut myself, and I have never thought of lamb kebobs as a perfect dinner on a ski trip , maybe fondue or raclette, but kebobs? :blink:

What else can ya leave festering in the trunk of the car all day and not worry about it killing you when ya cook it for dinner? We had seared foie gras and scrambled eggs for breakfast last weekend before skiing, so maybe I'm not the right guy to ask about reasonable ski trip food. But that won't prevent me from adding my 2 cents.

Perfect ski trip food in my mind is something that tastes good, can be mostly prepped at home a day or two in advance, doesn't require much in the way of cookware (most rental houses are poorly equipped), is roughly the same amount of work to cook for 2 to 10 people, and most importantly - it doesn't turn out awful if you forget about it while soaking in the hot tub.

I'm curious to see how the shawarma reheats, maybe I'll cook another one before we go skiing and we can just reheat it the next day. It seems more likely to taste good than kabobs that have been left under the broiler too long because everyone is too lazy to get out of the hot tub and check on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What else can ya leave festering in the trunk of the car all day and not worry about it killing you when ya cook it for dinner?  We had seared foie gras and scrambled eggs for breakfast last weekend before skiing, so maybe I'm not the right guy to ask about reasonable ski trip food.  But that won't prevent me from adding my 2 cents.

Perfect ski trip food in my mind is something that tastes good, can be mostly prepped at home a day or two in advance, doesn't require much in the way of cookware (most rental houses are poorly equipped), is roughly the same amount of work to cook for 2 to 10 people, and most importantly - it doesn't turn out awful if you forget about it while soaking in the hot tub.

I'm curious to see how the shawarma reheats, maybe I'll cook another one before we go skiing and we can just reheat it the next day.  It seems more likely to taste good than kabobs that have been left under the broiler too long because everyone is too lazy to get out of the hot tub and check on them.

ok, you have a point there..

And, please report back on the reheating experience, i'd like to know how well it reheats..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melkor, this looks great. Thanks for doing it and posting the pics. To make it hold better I would recommend -in addition to a larger amount of meat- to cut the meat into more or less flat thin (< 1/2 inch) slices. I could be wrong but your meat looks a little chunky. Overall this looks better than any shawarma I ever attempted at home. Maybe this will convince the wife to let me buy a rotisserie attachement for the grill :smile:.

Going back to the Vinegar marinade thing. If you try the Shawarma at a Lebanese joint, the texture is a little soft. Some palces overdo it and marinate it for a long time. Hence, mushy nasty meat. I say, marinate for a few hours and do not use to much vinegar.

Looking forward to future experiments.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the report. Now we all know that shawerma or Turkish kebab can be made on a rottisserie at home. I've had Armenian shawerama with garlic sauce, moutabal and buttery rice. That seems to be the most common service around my part of town.

Your presentation looks delicious.

I ski too, the best ski food for me is for me almost anything hot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had lunch at a turkish restaurant in San Francisco today, I had a long conversation with the chef about how his shawarma is made. I'm surprised by his process - he marinades the lamb overnight in a mixture of milk, onion, salt, and pepper - no acid because he says it makes the meat soft and no spices because he has a better place for spices he says. The spices are mixed in with ground lamb and ground lamb fat and spread between each layer of meat as its put on the spike - he suggests that with the meat spending so much time in contact with the spices while cooking there is no reason to put them in the marinade. He says he used to use yoghurt but that it had the same basic result as a vinegar based marinade.

Their shawarma did indeed have a much better texture than I’m used to. I very much enjoyed the contrast in textures between the ground meat which cooks together into something with similar texture to a meatball and the slices of lamb that retained their structure through the cooking process. Bits of crispy fat were present as well, so I presume he is layering slices of lamb fat in there also.

I’ve still got leftovers from the last batch in the fridge and I’m itching to try making this again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Turkish Chef probably purees the onion. This is an Algerian technique as well for marinades. It helps to tenderize the meat, hence no need to add vinegar or lemon juice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reheating it for lunch the past few days, adding a few drops of red wine vinegar. It keeps it from drying out, and I like the acidity of the vinegar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been reheating it for lunch the past few days, adding a few drops of red wine vinegar. It keeps it from drying out, and I like the acidity of the vinegar.

Thanks for reporting back, as noted upthread, vinegar is the lebanese touch to shawarma and how i personally like it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×