leg of lamb
leg of lamb
leg of lamb

Lola’s Leg of Lamb Shawarma with Tomato Jam


March 7, 2016

Recipe from Executive Chef Liam Spence, LOLA (Seattle, Washington

  • Prep: 1 hrs
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yields: 12 servings


1 boneless American leg of lamb, silverskin removed

1/2 bunch dried Greek oregano

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 cup kosher salt

2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper

Juice of 4 lemons

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Tomato Jam

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

Cayenne pepper, pinch

Shawarma Sauce

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 cup Best Foods mayonnaise

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 tsp dried Greek oregano

Salt, as desired

Shawarma Seasoning

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

3/4 tbsp ground fennel

2 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tbsp turmeric

1 tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tbsp kosher salt


1Score the inside of the leg and the fat cap. Combine the oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub onto both sides of the lamb. Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together and pour half of it over the lamb. Roll and tie the lamb, place in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

2Preheat the oven to 325°F. Roast the lamb until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F, 2-1/2 to 3 hours, basting it with the remaining lemon-olive oil mixture every 30 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, loosely tent with aluminum foil, and set aside 20 minutes before slicing.

3In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook until translucent, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and cayenne; bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook down until the mixture is thick, about 1 hour, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside to cool to room temperature. Transfer jam to an airtight container; refrigerate until serving. (Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)

4In a large bowl, add yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and salt; stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until serving. (Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)

5Place the lamb in a large bowl. Stir the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle with enough to coat both sides of the lamb (the remaining spice mixture can be stored in a cool, dark, dry cupboard for up to 6 months). Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add the lamb, and cook until warmed through. Serve in warmed pita bread with the Tomato Jam and Shawarma Sauce.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Marinate time: 12 hours
Cooking time: 3 hours

Recipe and image provided by the American Lamb Board


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