Beef Shawarma platters are so fun to spice up the traditional sandwich and make it your own. This particular recipe is going to blow you away! Just a handful of spices that you probably already have in your pantry will bring a traditional middle eastern dish right to your table.
Traditional shawarma is a street food sandwich made throughout the Arab world. It consists of meat cut into thin slices, stacked on top of each other on a spit and slowly roasted vertically. The two most popular kinds of shawarma are chicken and beef and traditionally the list included lamb.
In a previous post I discuss the influence of Arab food in Mexican cooking and that included the famous shawarma sandwich.
At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, when the Ottoman empire was crumbling and it was the beginning of World War I, a lot of Lebanese, Syrian and other Middle Eastern migrants left their homes for Mexico. Naturally, they brought a lot of their culture with them which included their food.
When they settled in their new home in Puebla, a city a couple of hours away from the capital and then eventually gravitated towards Mexico City in the 1930s, they began selling shawerma calling them tacos arabes or Arab tacos which gave birth to “Al Pastor”. The recipes for spit-roasted lamb were brought over to Mexico, the lamb was switched for beef, and eventually pork, and pitas for tortillas. Even the word “pastor” means “the way of the shepherd” because of the original use of lamb.
In Syria, a chicken shawarma sandwich is made only with garlic, pickles and great chicken shawarma. Beef shawarma is served with a parsley onion sumac salad, pickles optional and usually tahini or garlic sauce. In this recipe we used garlic but you can drizzle with tahini if you prefer that.
What about salt? Why don’t you add it to the marinade?
Salt will make meat tough. It’s recommended to salt right before sautéing to keep it tender.
This marinade makes for a juicy tender beef shawerma. Served either in a sandwich warpped in warm pita or on a platter on top of rice or salad with tomatoes and pickles.
- 1 lb shaved beef steak
- 1/2 cup onion shredded
- 1 Tablespoon tahini
- 1 Tablespoon dibs Raman
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 Mazola oil
- 3-4 Tablespoon plain yogurt
- 1/2 Tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon black pepper
- Pinch cayenne or Aleppo pepper
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp 7 all spice
- Optional dash of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt salt to taste
Shred the onion into a watery consistency
Mix all the ingredients together minus meat
- Add beef to the marinade
- Put in the fridge, the longer the better
- Preheat oven to 350
add salt to meat
- In large skillet, saute meat for several minutes
- Add to large baking sheet and put it in the oven 5 minutes to get it crispy
- Serve on a platter with pita bread, tomatoes, pickles, garlic sauce or tahini