Spicy Harissa American Lamb Shoulder in Pita Cones with Tahini Sauce

Prep Time

10 min

Cook Time

20 min

Total Time

30 min



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



  • 3 pounds cubed American Lamb shoulder or stew meat (about 1-inch cubes)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint and parsley

Fresh Harissa Sauce

  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cups fresh hot chilies (any type, any color, any spice level you prefer), washed and stems removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Luscious Tahini Sauce

  • 1/3 cup tahini paste (sesame paste)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large lime, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Carrot Mint Salad

  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini sauce (recipe above)


  • 6 thin pita breads
  • Shredded lettuce


For the Lamb: In a pot over high heat, heat half the oil. Season the cubed lamb chunks with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add garlic and lamb to the pot; start sautéing them on high heat. Continue sautéing for 3 to 5 minutes until the lamb starts to dry and begins to char. Add 1 tablespoon of oil gradually to the meat while sautéing until a nice char is achieved. 

Cover the pot; lower heat to medium, adding extra olive oil if needed. Cook lamb for another 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat; add in mint, parsley and Harissa sauce. Keep the lamb pot covered for at least 5 minutes to absorb all the flavors. This technique creates a chewy (not hard), flavor-packed, charred-tasting lamb with a burst of garlic, spice and freshness of herbs. 

For the Fresh Harissa Sauce: Blend garlic, lime juice, chilies, oil and salt. Set aside. 

For the Tahini Sauce: In a bowl, add tahini paste; whisk it with the water until it turns lighter in color and consistency is almost like a hard paste. Add in lime juice, salt and cumin; whisk to blend. If the sauce looks too thick, add a tablespoon of extra water. If too runny, add a tablespoon of extra tahini paste. Adjust seasoning. 

For the Carrot Mint Salad: In a large bowl, mix together carrots, mint and Tahini Sauce. Set aside. 

For the Pita Cones: Split each pita bread into two half circles. Each half circle pita will have a round side, a straight side and two end corners. Place the half circle with one end corner pointed towards you. Take the pointed corner of that pita half and fold it over 2 inches wide onto the round side of the pita half creating the first fold of the cone. Place your fingers inside the opening of the cone and your other hand at the bottom part of the cone; start folding the bread over in the same way you created that first cone. Fold to completely wrap the pita half into a full cone. 

Secure the loose edge of the cone with a toothpick. Repeat the same process with the remaining pita bread. 

Start piling your pita cones, Add shredded lettuce at the bottom, some flavorful lamb chunks, extra Harissa sauce (if desired), some Carrot Mint Salad, more lamb chunks, more Harissa sauce, a generous drizzle of Tahini Sauce and chopped mint.

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.

You Also Might Enjoy


Leave a Reply

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