Pulled Shawarma Lamb

I take no credit for this recipe its heavily bastardised from the brilliant Josh Katz of Berber & Q. I have been playing around with his recipes for a while and this was exceptional. An important thing to note – my wife cannot stand cardamon and clove so I omitted them from Josh’s recipe. I also couldn’t use a barbecue so I adapted the recipe for the oven and it came out very well.

Serves 6 | time 5 hours

Prep 30 minutes | Cook 4 hours + rest 30 minutes



  • 1 lamb shoulder (2kg – 2.5kg)
  • 2 x good handfuls of parsley
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Third of a block of butter, mixed with a tbsp of Shawarma Rub

Shawarma rub

  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon


Part one

  • Put your oven on 170 degrees c or 150 if you have a fan oven.
  • Bring the Lamb up to room temperature, pat dry as much as possible and slash the skin all over with a sharp knife so there are lots of nooks and crannies to massage the rub into.
  • Get two big handfuls of rub and massage it into the skin. Working it into the rivets made by the knife. Do this all over until the whole thing is covered in rub.


Part two

  • Leave this for at least half an hour while the oven preheats and you get out a tray with a roasting rack on top; a trivet made of carrots and onions would do the job if you don’t have a roasting rack, in essence all you are attempting to do is lift the meat off the tray so the air circulates around it and crisps everything up.
  • Before putting the meat in the oven, rub it all over with oil, season generously with salt and pepper and put on the bottom shelf.

Part three

  • Every so often (I did it every hour), take the meat out and brush with the mix of butter and rub.
  • Also check the meat, you should see it start to pull away from the bones, leaving large bits of clean bone exposed. It should break apart when you pinch it – when its like this its done. Don’t stress about the time too much you can leave it in anger or take it out before, its not a hard and fast rule, just check the meat isn’t burning – which it shouldn’t at this temperature.

Part four

  • After 4 hours – or when you are ready to take it out – brush any remaining butter over and leave to rest for at least half an hour but longer won’t hurt. This will also give you time to prep any last bits and / or set the table.
  • When you are ready to serve, take the whole thing to the table and shred the meat in front of your guests for a bit of theatre.
  • Serve with salt (iceberg and some pickled red cabbage would go great), flatbreads or pitta, chilli sauce, garlic sauce, chimmichurri would work well, as would salsa verde.

Find the original recipe for the Pulled Shawarma Lamb and loads of other brilliant recipes in this book.