This simple yet flavor loaded recipe for Spicy Harissa Lamb Shoulder Chunks in Pita Cones with Tahini Sauce will blow you away! A blend of cubed lamb shoulder (or lamb stew meat) is seared in a special way with plenty of garlic and olive oil until charred and tender then spiked with a fresh pepper Harissa sauce and piled in homemade pita cones. The pita cones are easy to make (check out the step by step photos) and secured with a toothpick which is removed right before eating.
To pack up a hearty pita cone, along with the flavorful lamb chunks, a classic Moroccan carrot and mint salad gets piled in, some crunchy lettuce and a luscious creamy cumin lime tahini sauce. These lamb pita cones are perfect for sharing, entertaining and tailgating! You’ll make plenty of sauces, store them in the fridge and you’ll find yourself making this recipe more than you know 🙂
More Lamb LOVE happening over here, and just in time for the Game! As always, when it coms to my beloved lamb I reach for American Lamb. It’s actually incomparable to any other when it comes to taste, quality and freshness, plus it feels great supporting local farmers! You’ll find a locator on that website which is the best way to know and locate your lamb!
Today’s recipe is not just crazy delicious and packed with flavor, it’s super easy and quick too! I’m also going to show you a trick to cooking lamb cubes till char perfection while infusing plenty of garlic flavor. This is a perfect trick I picked up from my Turkish grandma since she was the biggest influence for my love of lamb. She used to always say how can you eat beef, it’s just tasteless lol And frankly whenever I swap lamb for beef in any recipe- any… it certainly elevates the flavor!
Probably the first thing to mention here is the cut of lamb. I’ve opted for lamb shoulder or lamb stew. Basically you’ll want lamb chunks about an inch cube each (any cut works well, depending in your taste). These chunks get seasoned with just salt, pepper and nutmeg, and get seared with plenty of olive oil and garlic over high heat until charred. While they’re perfect at that point, I love covering the pan and letting them cook for an extra 20-30 minutes so they’re more tender. I find my kids prefer them that way, and when you have a picky one at home..you get the idea lol
Once the lamb shoulder is done, you’ll go in with plenty of herbs and a homemade Harissa sauce, toss and cover for the flavors to infuse beautifully! This stove top charred lamb shoulder using just olive oil and garlic is just amazing–you need to try it and see the difference between that and roasting/grilling/searing! Another thing I have to mention that’s amazing here is the homemade Harissa. It’s probably one of the easiest condiments to make at home–no cooking or fuss needed. Simply puree your favorite type of chilli peppers with garlic, lime juice and olive oil. As straight forward as it is, it’s absolutely delicious and it adds bang to any recipe you add it to!
While the lamb and Harissa sauce are super flavorful, I love adding an extra layer of goodness–my Perfect Tahini Sauce recipe. I mention this so many times before, and here I go again. I shared that luscious tahini sauce when I started my blog, my photography was quite hideous and yet that recipe got pinned over 20K times. And it’s simply because that sauce is like MAGIC! You drizzle it on anything and you’ve got yourself a treat. So I had to include it here too! Along with that, I add one of my favorite Moroccan salads–the Carrot and Mint salad which I’ve also shared in this Spicy Vegan Chickpea Moroccan Couscous — another winner recipe to try for meatless Mondays!
For the pita cones, which happen to be one of my favorite ways to do wraps and sandwiches because it’s just so convenient to stuff anything in lol And the step by step photos below are best to show you how!
When it comes to piling and assembling the lamb shoulder pita cones, the sky’s your limit! The only thing I needed was some crunchy lettuce, which I always place at the bottom of the cones to avoid my pita cones getting soggy with all the saucy goodness. Here are the photos below showing how I assembled them, but as always feel free to personalize these lamb shoulder chunk cones to your taste. First of all, lettuce, lamb, Harissa, carrot mint salad, tahini sauce, lamb, more harissa, more tahini sauce and finally fresh mint. Absolute YUM!
I love making these pita cones for tailgating, picnics, on the go dinners and lunches, and even for potlucks. They transport beautifully, they’re easily prepared in advance, they’re perfect to eat hot or cold, and they’re a real crowd pleaser! So next time you’re thinking of making something YUM to share or enjoy on your own, make these! You’ll LOVE them I promise! Oh and for more Lamb LOVE–check The best Lamb Burgers Loaded with Nachos recipe, Turkish Pizza Lahmacun recipe and Grilled Lamb Chops with Black Olive Herb Butter! Now ENJOY!!
Spicy Harissa lamb shoulder chunks in pita cones with Tahini sauce
- 3 lbs of cubes lamb shoulder or stew meat about 1 inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 6 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/4 cup of minced fresh mint and parsley
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
Fresh Harissa Sauce:
- 2 cups of fresh hot chilli any type, any color, any spice level you prefer, washed and stems removed
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1/3 cup of tahini paste sesame paste
- 2 tablespoons of water
- juice of a huge lime about 3 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Carrot Mint Salad
- 3 cups of shredded carrots
- 1 cup of chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons of Tahini sauce recipe above
- 6 thin pita breads
- Shredded lettuce
- Make the lamb: Preheat a pot with lid on high with half the olive oil. Season the cubed lamb chunks with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Add the garlic and lamb chunks and start sautéing them on high heat with the olive oil. Continue sautéing them for 3-5 minutes until the lamb starts to dry and begin to char. Add a tablespoon of olive oil gradually to the meat while sautéing until a nice char is achieved.
- Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium, adding extra olive oil if needed and let the lamb cook for another 20-30 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the herbs, the Harissa sauce and keep the lamb pot covered for at least 5 minutes to absorb all the flavors. This technique creates a chewy (not hard), flavor packed, charred tasting lamb with a burst of garlic, spice and freshness of the herbs.
- Prepare the Harissa sauce by blending all ingredients together. Set aside.
- Prepare the Tahini Sauce by adding the tahini pasta in a bowl and whisk it with the water until it tuns lighter in color and almost like a hard paste. Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk to blend. If the sauce looks too thick for your taste, add a tablespoon of extra water. If it’s too runny for your taste, add a tablespoon of extra tahini paste. Taste salt and adjust seasoning.
- Make the carrot salad by mixing all ingredients together. Set aside.
- Make the Pita cones. Split each pita bread into 2 half circles. each half circle Pita will have a round side, a straight side and 2 end corners. Place the half circle with one end corner pointed towards you. Take that pointed corner of that pita half and fold it over two inches wide on to the round side of the pita half creating the first fold of the cone. Place your fingers inside the opening of the cone and your other hand at the bottom part of the cone, and start folding the bread over in the same way you created that first cone fold to completely wrap the pita half into a full cone.
- Secure the lose edge of the cone with a toothpick and repeat the same process with the remaining pita bread.
- Start piling your pita cones, Add shredded lettuce at the bottom, some flavorful lamb chunks, extra Harissa sauce (if desired), some Moroccan carrot salad, more lamb chunks, more Harissa sauce, a generous drizzle of tahini sauce and some extra chopped mint. Enjoy!