Adam Liaw's Roast Lamb shoulder shawarma

Even for someone who enjoys cooking and creating I still find me and my husband asking the question 'what do you fancy for dinner?' and that's even when I have a monthly planner! Anyway, we found this recipe in the paper this week. I changed it slightly by cooking the lamb slowly for about 11 hours, one hour at 150 and then down to 130 for ten hours. Keep topping up with liquid to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Its called Roast Lamb Shoulder Shawarma.


  • 1.5kg bone-in lamb shoulder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4-8 pita breads, to serve
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, to serve
  • finely shredded parsley, to serve
  • 1 sliced red onion, to serve
  • 1 sliced tomato, to serve
  • 1 sliced cucumber, to serve
  • 3 cups finely shredded lettuce, to serve
  • 1 lemon, quartered, to serve (optional)

Shawarma seasoning (makes double)

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt

Garlic sesame sauce

  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • drizzle of olive oil


Combine the ingredients for the shawarma seasoning. Mix half of the mixture with the oil and rub all over the lamb. Reserve the remaining seasoning for future use. Allow the lamb to marinate in the fridge overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 175°C (155°C fan-forced). Place the onion chunks in the base of a lidded pan or roasting tray and place the lamb on top. Add a cup of water to the pan, cover tightly and roast for 4 hours. You can uncover the lamb for the last 30 minutes if you like it well-browned. Wrap the pita bread in foil and place in the oven for the last 20 minutes of cooking to warm through. 

Remove lamb from the oven, baste with the juices from the pan and rest for 15 minutes. Combine the ingredients for the sauce, finishing with a drizzle of olive oil. Scatter the lamb with parsley and pine nuts and serve with the pitas, fillings and sauce.