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December 21, 2018

Slow-Roasted American Lamb Shawarma


Recipe Provided By
"Feasting at Home"
Prep Time

20 min

Cook Time

4 hrs

Total Time

4 hrs 20 min



Slow-Roasted American Lamb Shawarma over rice on plate


Shawarma Marinade

  • 8 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1 shallot, quartered
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom


In a food processor, add garlic, shallot, oil, cumin, coriander, sumac, salt, paprika, turmeric, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom; pulse into a paste, scraping down sides to incorporate well. 

Place onion slices in the bottom of a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet to create a base for the lamb. 

Pat the lamb dry; coat all sides well with the Shawarma Marinade, including the inside where the bone was removed. Roll it back up; place it on the bed of sliced onion, seam side down, fatty side up. Let this marinate on the counter until the oven is hot, or up to 2 hours. You could also wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours. 

Pour 1 cup water into Dutch oven or skillet (to the side of the lamb); cover with a heavy lid or foil and cook at 350°F for 2-1/2 hours. Uncover the roast to let the top get golden; continue cooking 1 hour. Check the roast. If the pan seems dry, add another 1/2 cup water. If the crust is getting too dark, cover lightly with foil. Continue cooking until lamb pulls apart easily with tongs or two forks, possibly another hour. If it’s still feeling tough, continue cooking until tender, checking every 30 minutes. Make sure top is not burning and there is liquid in the bottom. 

Let stand a few minutes before serving.

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

Slow-Roasted American Lamb cooking
Slow-Roasted American Lamb Shawarma on wood block
thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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