zoom Shawarma-style pulled lamb with tahini-yogurt dressing

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    Shawarma-style pulled lamb with tahini-yogurt dressing

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    Shawarma-style pulled lamb with tahini-yogurt dressing

    • Preparation time: 45 minutes + marinating
    • Cooking time: 4 hours 15 minutes
    • Total time: 5 hours + marinating

    Serves: 6 - 8


    1 whole shoulder of lamb (about 1.8kg)
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground allspice
    ½ tsp paprika
    ½ tsp ground ginger
    ½ tsp ground turmeric
    1 tsp sea salt
    1 garlic bulb
    2 lemons
    1 onion, halved
    6-8 pittas or flatbreads

    For the tahini-yogurt dressing
    3 tbsp tahini
    100g Greek-style natural yogurt
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    1 small clove garlic, finely grated or crushed

    For the pickled red cabbage
    ¼ red cabbage, finely shredded, core discarded
    1½ tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp honey

    For the chopped salad
    3 tomatoes, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
    1 cucumber, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
    1 little gem lettuce, cut into 1cm dice
    ½ red onion, finely chopped
    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    ¼ x 25g pack mint, leaves only


    1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Pierce the lamb all over with a sharp knife. Mix the spices and salt together with 4 crushed cloves of garlic, the juice of 1 lemon and some black pepper and rub all over the lamb, pushing into the slits. Cover and ideally marinate in the fridge for up to 12 hours or cook straight away. Halve the remaining lemon and the remaining garlic bulb and place in the base of a roasting tray along with the halved onion. Sit the lamb on top. Cover the tray tightly with foil (you may need 2-3 overlapping sheets to seal it) and roast for 4 hours, until cooked through and tender enough to shred with two forks.

    2. For the dressing, mix the tahini with 3 tbsp water, then stir in the remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt. In another bowl, toss all the red cabbage ingredients with a pinch of salt. In a third bowl, mix the tomato, cucumber, lettuce and onion for the salad with a pinch of salt. Cover and chill all three. Just before serving spoon the vinegar and scatter freshly shredded mint over the salad. If the dressing has firmed up add a splash more water to loosen.

    3. Remove the lamb from the oven. Lift the meat from the tray, discard the onion and garlic, then squeeze out the juice from the lemon halves and discard them too. Spoon or pour off as much excess fat from the pan as possible, but keep the spiced cooking juices. Return the lamb to the pan.

    4. Using two forks, shred the meat into large pieces, discarding any skin and fat. Stir the meat through the cooking juices. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C, gas mark 7, and pop the tray back in for 15 minutes until the meat is golden and crispy in places. Serve with the pittas or flatbreads, tahini-yogurt dressing, pickled red cabbage and chopped salad.  

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