Recipe Provided ByExecutive Chef Liam Spence
- 8 pound American Lamb leg roast, boned, silver skin removed
- 1/2 cup dried Greek oregano (preferably on-the-stem)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
- 4 (about 1 cup) lemons, juiced, divided
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano (preferably on-the-stem)
- Salt, as desired
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon madras curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 pita breads
- 1 head Romaine lettuce, sliced crosswise into thin ribbons
In a medium bowl, add oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup oil. Using a sharp knife, score the inside of the roast on a diagonal in 1-inch intervals. Turn roast over; score fat cap. Rub herb mixture over both sides of lamp; pour lemon-oil over roast. Tie roast with butcher’s twine; place in large baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Whisk remaining 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup oil together; set aside. Place roast on a roasting rack lightly coated with nonstick spray. Roast at 325ºF until temperature reaches 130ºF, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours; baste every 30 minutes with lemon juice-oil mixture. Remove from oven; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. (Roast can also be cooled completely before slicing.)
Prepare Tomato Jam and Shawarma Sauce while lamb roasts.
For Tomato Jam: In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook until translucent, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and cayenne; bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until mixture is thick and tomatoes are concentrated into a jam texture, 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring often. Remove from heat; set aside to cool to room temperature. Transfer jam to an airtight container; refrigerate until serving. (Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
For Shawarma Sauce: In a large bowl, add yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and salt; stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until serving. (Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
For Shawarma Seasoning: In a large skillet, add cumin, coriander and fennel; toast over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the seeds start to crackle, are fragrant, and wisps of smoke rise from the pan, about 3 minutes. Transfer spices to a large plate; cool. In a spice grinder or coffee mill, grind spices into a fine powder. Turn the mixture out into a medium bowl; stir in paprika, turmeric, curry, cayenne, allspice and salt.
In a large bowl, add sliced lamb; toss with 6 tablespoons spice mixture to evenly coat. (Store remaining spice blend in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 6 months.)
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the seasoned lamb; cook until lamb is warmed through. Transfer lamb to a large platter. Repeat twice with remaining oil and lamb.
Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Place the pita bread on 2 rimmed baking sheets; place in oven and warm at 300ºF. Remove from oven; spread Tomato Jam inside each pita, or if pita is very thin spread Tomato Jam on top. Divide the lamb between the pitas; top with shredded letters and a few tablespoons of Shawarma Sauce. Serve hot.