Riffing on a Wrap
Some years ago, Steve’s friend Shadi introduced us to the shawarma, an Arab wrap sandwich of grilled meat. It’s one of our go-to takeout meals. We always order lamb and we get it with eggplant and potatoes.
Steve liked the idea of grilled lamb and veggies in a wrap so much, he decided to riff on the concept to see if he could come up with something fun to barbecue this year. His experimentation was such a huge hit with our family, I thought I’d share his recipe with you.
The instructions may look long, but they’re really simple. 1) Grill some meat. Steve grilled a bone-in leg of lamb; no reason it couldn’t be boneless or another cut of meat. 2) Grill some vegetables. 3) Make a sauce. Steve just stirred a bit of canned harissa into yogurt. 4) Wrap everything up in a lavash, a soft, thin flatbread. 5) Grill the wraps.
You’ll want to grill the lamb using the indirect method, and the veggies and the completed wraps using the direct method. Barbecue authority Steven Raichlen explains the two methods and provides how-to instructions for both methods on his Barbecue U site.
As you can imagine, this sandwich is open to endless variations regarding the choice of meat, vegetables and sauce. Steve first tried this idea with a flank steak and that was good, too. If you come up with a different combination, please add a comment to the post so we can share your variation.
Because the recipe calls for a leg of lamb, there will be leftovers beyond what is needed for the sandwiches. We never have a problem with leftover lamb. We use it in sandwiches, salads or in soup. If you don’t think you can use the leftovers, just choose a smaller flank steak.
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Steve’s Spicy Lamb Wraps with Grilled Onion and Peppers
1 (3- to 4-pound) bone-in leg of lamb
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bell peppers, quartered (1 red and 1 green)
1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, quartered with roots untrimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon harissa, North African hot chile sauce (available in cans)
6 lavash bread, 8 ½ X 11 ½ inches (we buy Trader Joe’s Clay Oven Baked)
Grill the lamb: Rub lamb with salt and pepper and grill over medium heat using the indirect method about 1 hour 15 minutes, until an instant read thermometer reaches 135°F for medium-rare or 140°F for medium.
When the lamb is done, remove from the grill. Let rest for 15 minutes; then slice meat thinly from the bone. You will need about 3 ounces for each serving. You will have leftover lamb.
Prepare the veggies: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, gently toss peppers and onion with olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and a few grindings of pepper. Be careful not to dislodge onion quarters as you toss.
Grill peppers and onion until softened and peppers are blistered, about 5 minutes on each side. Slice the peppers in strips. Trim off the root end of the onion and slice into strips.
Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine yogurt with harissa.
To assemble: Lay out one sheet of lavash vertically (short side facing you), lay about 3 ½ ounces of lamb starting about 1/4 of the way from the bottom of the lavash. Top with 1/6th of the peppers and 1/6th of the onion, dribble 1 tablespoon of the sauce over all and roll firmly. Repeat to make a total of 6 sandwiches.
Grill the sandwiches: Grill each sandwich about 2 minutes on each side until lavash is crisp and toasted; serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
Note: The leg of lamb will provide leftovers for another day. If you don’t want leftover lamb, grill a 1 ¾-pound flank steak instead. Salt and pepper the steak and direct grill 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare, until instant-read thermometer reaches 130F° to 135F°.
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