Ever since I started dating Matt, I’ve had to cook a lot more. And for some unknown reason, he likes, nay, loves my cooking.
One of his favorite dishes is Shawarma. If you don’t know what Shawarma is, it’s an Arab dish made up of thinly cut meat (red or chicken) cooked with spices and wrapped in pita bread with a choice of toppings.
The spices and toppings can vary, but here’s my mother’s recipe she passed to me. Oh and I should warn you, this is all approximations. Also, not recommended for vegetarians.
-2 packages of skirt steak (for approx. 4-6 people)
-2 1/2 tblsp. of balsamic vinegar
-1 tblsp. of olive oil (read: OLIVE OIL)
-2 bay leaves
-approx. 1 1/2 tsp of gound cardamon
-1 tblsp. of all spice
-1-2 thinly sliced tomato(s)
Chop up the meat into thin slices and make sure to remove as much fat off of it as possible. Skirt steak does have quite a bit of fat. No need to take it all off of the meat, but take out as much as you can.
Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cardamon, bay leaves and all spice to the meat. Mix them well together.
Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. You can even prepare it in the evening and let it marinate over night.
Once the meat has been marinated, take it out of the fridge and place it in a pan. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Slice up a tomato or two and place the slices over the meat so that it is covered. Place the pan in the oven.
Cook the meat for about 15-20 minutes. Take the meat out and using two forks, separate the meat a little because it tends to stick together. Place the pan back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes or until the meat is done. And voila! You have Shawarma.
On the side I usually dice up 1-2 tomatoes and make tahini sauce to serve it along with the pita bread.
To make tahini sauce mash up one clove of garlic. Make sure to add a sprinkle of salt before you mash it. Add about 1/2 cup of tahini (which is a paste of ground sesame seeds) to the mashed up garlic. Mix them together. Add 1/2 a cup of water little by little to the tahini and mix it. Make sure it is neither runny nor thick. Squeeze half a lemon and add it to the mix. Once it has been all mixed together, taste it and if you like it with more lemon, then go ahead and add a bit more. If not, you are ready to serve it with the Shawarma.
It’s really not complicated to make. I promise. Just takes a bit of time. That’s why I usually only make it over the weekend.