Beef shawarma

Whoever came up with the term (sleeping like a baby) obviously didn’t have kids!

I know I complain about this a lot but being sleep deprived for over 2 years is not easy! I have to say that ever since we got our little boy his big boy bed things have improved. Now he only wakes me up 2-3 times on most nights and that would be ok if I could sleep in a little! but I have to get up at 6 to prepare my daughter for school. So I spend the entire week dreaming of sleeping in on Saturday. That is why approach the weekend with a plan that I refine week after week.

First I try to plan a day full of activities so as to use up their extra energy, then I  allow the kids to stay up a little longer than what they are allowed on school days and finally when they actually fall asleep I make sure that the shutters are down and I pull down the curtains in an attempt to fool their biological clocks that seem to be set on 6 am on weekends and 8 in school days!

I have had my successes when I open my eyes and it is 8.30 or 9 and I wake up relaxed with a big smile. Then there are the days when I open my eyes to find that it is 6 am and my two wide awake kids will not be negotiated, tempted or intimidated into going back to bed.. I drag myself out of bed, make them breakfast while I rerun last night in my mind to see where the plan went wrong and what can be done to avoid such failure in the future

Today’s recipe is shawarma, you can make shawarma with beef or chicken and it is really delicious either way. Today I’ll share the beef shawarma recipe and hopefully soon I will post the chicken one.

The spice blend and the citrus peel are the key players in this recipe. The meat will be tender, juicy and the flavors in it will be out of this world. Marinating the meat will allow the meat to take up the beautiful combination of flavors so if you can do this the night before that will give you better results.

I usually serve this with pita bread and Tahini sauce and a side dish of sumac, parsley onions and everyone gets to make their own sandwich with their choice of additions. You can also serve as a topping on some humus along side a green salad and sliced bread.  

Beef shawarma

500 gm beef

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

The peel of one lemon (not the zest, just the yellow part cut into strips)

The peel of one orange

3 cloves of garlic minced

Shawarma spice

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon all spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 crushed bay leaf

dash of pepper

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon gum arabic (also known as gum acacia, chaar gund, char goond or meska)

1 sliced onions

1 teaspoon sumac

chopped parsley

Tahini sauce

Mix the shawarma spices untill well combined.

Add the spices to the ingredients of the marinade, add the meat, toss to coat.

Marinade for at least 2 hours.

Take out the lemon and orange peel and place the meat with the marinade in a pan and place it on the lowest rack of the oven at 220 C

When the meat is almost done make some room in the pan and place the sliced tomatoes then place it back in the oven. (This way the tomatoes will take up the flavors of the meat and soften)

To prepare the side onions simply mix the onions with sumac and parsley. If  you don’t like the taste of raw onions, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and rub the onions in the sumac and the salt then squeeze out any fluid.