June  9, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

In 1970 I spent Thanksgiving in Beirut, Lebanon. At that time it was called the "Paris of the Middle-East" and that was a reasonable assertion. There were shops, movie houses, theaters, and even pool halls. The people were cheerful, optimistic, cosmopolitan, and friendly. I was a college student at the time visiting with fellow students and we wandered the streets having a marvelous time and stopping, every now and then, to purchase a schawarma from a street vendor. These marvelously savory lamb sandwiches were absolutely addictive and we must have consumed five or six of these apiece in the four days we were there. —Kevin

What You'll Need
  • Sandwich
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil - divided
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 - 3 lamb leg steaks - 1 - 1.5 pounds
  • 4 rounds flat bread
  • thinly-sliced tomato
  • lettuce
  • Sauce
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup yogurt, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons sumac, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper.
  2. Pour yogurt marinade into a gallon zippered bag, add lamb steaks, and refrigerate for 8 - 24 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 225 degrees.
  4. Remove steaks from bag, discarding marinade, and wipe dry (more or less) with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, lidded sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown steaks on both sides in pan (about 3 minutes per side).
  5. Pour off excess oil, cover sauté pan, and cook in the oven for 1 hour. In the meantime, combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  6. Remove steaks from pan and slice thinly across the grain. Spoon sauce down the center of a loaf of flat bread or pita. Add tomato and a leaf or two of lettuce. Add lamb, roll up, and enjoy.
  7. And save those juices in the sauté pan and sop bread in them for an amazing treat.
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