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Beef Shawarma

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Beef Shawarma is perfect to use in pita sandwiches, hummus bowls or on its own. Flank steak is marinated in a shawarma seasoning mix and grilled to perfection. The beef is tender and juicy and pairs nicely with a tahini sauce, fresh tomato and romaine and pickles in a pita sandwich. 

Beef Shawarma in pita wrap   

BEEF SHAWARMA

Beef Shawarma is something that you find a lot in Lebanese restaurants or the kitchens of those that love Mediterranean food.

Shawarma meat is perfect to use in pita wraps, paired with hummus, in rice bowls or on its own with a variety of sides.

If you frequent Lebanese restaurants you will probably see a Beef Shawarma Plate as an option on their menu.

This is a plate of the steak shawarma usually paired with hummus and a Lebanese Salad or tabbouleh.

I grew up eating Beef Shawarma and love the warm, rich spices.

Today’s recipe uses flank steak that is grilled and then thinly sliced.

You will notice that the beef is marinated for 2 hours in a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and warm spices.

The flavors that infuse into the beef are my favorite.

Beef Shawarma platter

The Ohio Beef Council and I are teaming up to share this recipe in celebration of the 4th of July.

It is the perfect recipe to make for a family gathering to celebrate the holiday. 

WHAT IS SHAWARMA?

Shawarma is a classic Arabic dish of meat (chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, or other mixed meats) seasoned and placed vertically on a spit and slow roasted.

Typically the meat is thinly sliced and served with fattoush, tabbouleh, pita bread, tomato, and cucumber and sauces like a Tahini Sauce.

The word “shawarma” is an Arabic rendering of Turkish çevirme ‘turning’, in reference to the rotisserie cooking of the meat, which turns around an axis.

Though considered a Turkish dish by origin, it’s enjoyed through the Middle East and Mediterranean region in various forms {source}.

 

 

WHAT GOES WITH BEEF SHAWARMA?

When I make beef shawarma I like to roll it in a pita along with a tahini sauce, romaine lettuce, tomato, pickled turnips and pickles.

If I use the beef shawarma in a rice bowl or hummus place I will often set out a variety of sides that my guests can add to their meal.

Salad: In Lebanese cooking we love easy, fresh salads like Tabbouleh, Balela or Fattoush Salads. These are great alongside any Mediterranean meal. 

Vegetables: Another great addition to a beef shawarma pita or meal is Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables or this Turmeric Cauliflower. 

Hummus: Hummus is always a nice, healthy side to your meal. I especially like a roasted red pepper or lemon version

Mediterranean ingredients: There are a lot of ingredients that go great with this flank steak. I like to set out olives, pickled turnips, pickles, fresh vegetables and feta cheese to go with it. 

Beef Shawarma sliced on cutting board

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN BEEF SHAWARMA?

Beef Shawarma Seasoning: The Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend combines coriander, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, onion powder, allspice, salt and pepper.

I use this spice mix in today’s Beef Shawarma and this Chicken Shawarma Recipe

You can also use this shawarma spice mix and add it to ground beef to make a ground beef shawarma. This works nicely in rice or hummus bowls! 

Marinade: If you have wondered how to make shawarma, it is so easy.

One of the most important steps in my opinion is to marinate the beef. Marinading beef helps to tenderize it and infuse the flavors.

This marinade uses olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and the shawarma seasoning.

Allow ¼ to ½ cup of marinade for every pound of beef, and always marinate beef in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. 

Beef: I used flank steak for this recipe but you could also use a flat iron steak or strip steak to make this.

I think those cuts work nicely and slice thin to use in pita sandwiches. 

Tahini sauce: In Lebanese cooking we love yogurt and tahini sauces.

We drizzle them on everything and I really like it on my pita wraps. 

Beef Shawarma platter from above

IS BEEF NUTRITIOUS FOR ME?

  • Calorie-for-calorie, beef is one of the most naturally nutrient-rich foods. A 3-oz serving of beef is about 150 calories but provides 25 grams of protein and 10 essential nutrients, wrapped up in one tasty package. That means today’s recipe is packed with protein and a great option to fuel your family this summer. 
  • You would have to eat 8 ounces of chicken breast to get the same amount of iron as 3 ounces of beef.
  • Add lean beef to your diet and your heart will thank you! Research shows that enjoying lean beef as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk. 

Beef Shawarma in pita

TIPS FOR GRILLING BEEF

  • It’s time to break out the grill! Some of the best cuts for grilling include Strip Steak, Flank and Ribeye. 
  • Looking to be named the Grill Master this summer? Be confident in your skills when following handy these beef grilling guidelines.
  • After gilling, allow beef to rest for about five minutes before cutting and serving. This prevents the tasty juices from draining out of the meat and all over your plate.

 

  • Make sure your grill is clean (to prevent flare-ups) and the rack is well-oiled (to prevent sticking). If you’re using charcoal, follow the directions for how much you’ll need and how to build the charcoal pile. For gas grills, refer to your owner’s manual and set the grill to medium-high.
  • Use an ovenproof or instant-read thermometer to monitor doneness, and let it go—don’t flip the steaks so much! One flip is usually all you need, but take care to avoid charring or burning and be ready to turn down the heat (or move to a cooler spot on the grill) if necessary. Keep in mind the internal temperature will continue to rise for a few minutes after coming off the grill.

Beef Shawarma in pita wrap

Beef Shawarma

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of flank steak

FOR THE MARINADE

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons Shawarma seasoning mix {see below}
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

FOR THE SHAWARMA SEASONING MIX

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon AllSpice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE

  • 1 cup tahini paste {otherwise known as sesame paste}
  • 1/4 cup water {add more for consistency}
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR SERVING

  • Pita Bread
  • Sliced tomato
  • Pickled turnips
  • Pickles
  • Cucumber
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Olives
  • Feta
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Hummus

Instructions

  1. Create the shawarma seasoning by mixing the cumin, coriander, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, onion powder, AllSpice, cinnamon, and black pepper in a mason jar or small container. Set aside.
  2. In a mason jar or small container combine the ingredients for the tahini sauce: tahini paste, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. In a large gallon ziploack or a large plastic or glass tupperware container place the flank steak. In a medium mixing bowl combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, shawarma seasoning mix, garlic, onion and salt. Whisk until combine. Pour the marinade over the beef and zip the top or close the container. Shake the beef and marinate together until the steak is coated. Refrigerate for two hours {do not marinate longer due to the acid in the lemon juice-see notes for explanation}.
  4. When you are ready to grill pull the flank steak out of the fridge and set on the counter to come to room temperature.
  5. Preheat your grill for direct heat grilling at 450 degrees F. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes per side, or until an internal thermometer reads 125-130°F internal temperature for medium rare. Remove the steak from the grill to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain.
  6. Serve in pita wraps, hummus or rice bowls with the tahini sauce.

Notes

Because this marinade has acid in it {lemon juice} you can only marinade it up to 2 hours. Marinades that contain citrus juices, especially lemon or lime juice, should be used for only 2 hours or less. Be careful when using acidic marinades. Foods left too long in these blends can change color and texture. You could leave the lemon juice out of the marinade and then you could marinade overnight.

Thank you to The Ohio Beef Council for sponsoring this recipe. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

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Chris Salman

Wednesday 20th of November 2019

Pictures looks great. I have tried shawarma recipe last night and it was delicious and crispy.

Julia

Thursday 21st of November 2019

Glad you enjoyed it!

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