"Although it’s not traditional, I love to throw the meat on sliced bread with barbecue sauce and Swiss cheese, then toast it," says Mohamed Fettayleh of Abu Ahmad Butchery.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (149 votes)


  • 1 tbsp shawarma spice mix (see Note)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 125 ml (½ cup) non-alcoholic red wine (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar
  • 800 g beef or veal rump, thinly sliced
  • 4 large iceberg lettuce leaves, shredded
  • 1 large tomato, cut into thin wedges
  • 6 large Lebanese breads
  • 1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • pickled turnips (see Note), to serve


Tahini sauce

  • 140 g (½ cup) tahini
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time overnight

Combine spice mix, garlic, wine, oil and vinegar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Add beef and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add marinated meat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and meat starts to brown. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, to make sauce, combine tahini, vinegar and garlic until mixture thickens. Add 80 ml water and stir until just combined; do not over-stir or mixture may separate. Season.

Divide lettuce, tomato and beef mixture among breads. Drizzle with tahini sauce and top with onion and turnips. Wrap and serve.



• Shawarma spice mix is from Lebanese food shops and Lebanese butchers. You can make your own by combining 2 tsp each ground cumin, allspice and sweet paprika, 1 tsp each dried oregano, ground cloves, ground ginger and salt, ½ tsp each ground turmeric, ground cinnamon and ground cardamom, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Store in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Makes ¼ cup.

• Non-alcoholic red wine is available from supermarkets and Halal food shops.

• Pickled turnips are available from Middle Eastern food shops.


Recipe from Feast magazine, Issue 20. Photography by Brett Stevens, styling by Berni Smities