Beef Shawarma

Last Updated on July 8, 2022

Shawarma is a popular street food from the Middle East consisting of thin slices of spiced meat. It’s traditionally cooked on a vertical rotisserie and then shaved down into  manageable portion sizes for wraps. Similar to a Greek gyro in appearance, shawarma is Middle Eastern in taste. For this recipe, we’ll use sliced  Butcher Box flank steak instead of a big hunk on a vertical spit. The meat is marinated in spices and then cooked on a skillet or flat top. It makes the kitchen smell delightful – but the best part is digging in! 

Beef Shawarma

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Protein: Beef
Cut: Flank Steak
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the shawarma

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the shawarma

  • 1 ½ - 2 pound Butcher Box flank steak
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the tahini sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt sour-cream can also be used
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 5 mint leaves optional
  • 8 pieces pita bread
  • tomatoes and cucumbers diced or sliced
  • green leaf lettuce washed and broken down

Instructions

For the shawarma

  • Mix the cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cloves, cayenne pepper and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Slice the flank steak into thin, bite sized pieces. Pro tip: this works best when the meat is still partially frozen. Aim for about 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Place steak in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, minced garlic and sliced onions. Toss ingredients well to combine and add the shawarma spices. Work the marinade into the meat with your hands.
  • Let the meat marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Or, keep it in the fridge for a few hours or up to overnight.

For the tahini sauce

  • Mix yogurt, lime, tahini, garlic, dill and mint in a small bowl. Whisk ingredients well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator.

To finish

  • Heat a cast iron skillet or a griddle and add the olive oil. Cook the beef on the skillet over high heat in a single layer by using a pair of tongs to spread the meat. Wait for about 2 minutes or so before moving the meat so that some browning can occur.
  • Cook the meat for another 5 minutes or so or until juices become relatively dry. When done, set meat aside on a plate for assembly.
  • Warm your pita bread on the griddle or skillet. Assemble shawarma by putting lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and a generous portion of cooked beef on top. Drizzle with tahini sauce and fold or roll your pita bread. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Louiie Victa

Louiie is a chef, recipe developer, food photographer and stylist based in Las Vegas. While working the line at Bazaar Meat, Louiie merged her twin passions of the visual and culinary  arts. She has tested and developed recipes for Anova Culinary, Bon Appetit, and EATER.  She  also co-hosts and produces a food and hospitality based podcast, 2 Sharp Chefs and a  Microphone. She frequently shoots architecture, food, and people for Eater Vegas. In her free time, Louiie loves to turn her phone to airplane mode, travel, do yoga, cook outdoors, and  spend time with her naked cat, Dobby.