7 cities. 54 chefs. It's Lamb Jam Restaurant Month.
Learn More
April 3, 2020

Shawarma-Spiced Roast Pulled American Lamb Leg Tacos


Prep Time

1hr, 30min

Cook Time

6 hrs

Total Time

7hrs, 30min



lamb loin chops with cucumber mint salad and sweet and smoky tahini


For the pulled lamb: 

  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt 
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bone-in American lamb leg, (about 6 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, (divided)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced  

For the Greek pico de gallo:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion 
  • 1/2 small cucumber, seeds removed and diced 
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste 

For serving: 

  • Small flour tortillas, warmed  
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt, separated equally in containers 
  • 4 cups wild arugula, separated equally in two resealable bags
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese separated equally in two bags or containers


For the pulled American lamb

In a small bowl stir together the salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, pepper and cinnamon until combined. Set aside. 

Rub the lamb leg with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and garlic then rub all over with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate to let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Add the lamb to a large roasting pan. Roast lamb until well browned all over, 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Add enough water so the liquid comes about 1 inch up the side of the roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil, and roast until meat is tender and easily pulls apart, about 4½ hours, turning once halfway through cooking. 

Transfer the lamb to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the braising liquid to a medium saucepan and boil over medium heat until it reduces by half. Shred the lamb and pour the reduced juices over the top. 

For the Greek Pico de Gallo: 

In a medium mixing bowl stir together the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, lemon juice and mint. Season with salt, split into two containers (one for your family and one to share) cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to two days in advance. 

For assembly:

To assemble the tacos, top with Greek yogurt, a small handful of Arugula, topped with lamb, a scoop of the Greek Pico de Gallo and crumbled feta cheese. 

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *