Apr 28, 2016

Greek Lamb Sandwich with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 40 mins
I like this recipe because the lamb shanks are braised until they are super tender and you end up with just the right amount of meat to make a few sandwiches.

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Sponsored by Liberty School Wine. 

I love pairing lamb with a medium bodied red like Liberty School merlot that has notes of cherry and vanilla. Roast leg of lamb is delicious but can be a lot of meat if you aren’t cooking for a lot of people. I like this recipe because the lamb shanks are braised until they are super tender and you end up with just the right amount of meat to make a few sandwiches. Since I am usually just cooking for two, we like to have enough food for dinner and then lunch the next day but hate letting any food go to waste.

Greek Lamb Sandwich with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Lamb shanks – Lamb shanks are the muscular bottom portion of the lamb leg and due to that muscle they can be tough. Braising the meat in the oven allows for the connective tissue to break and for the meat to become tender and flavorful. While they take a little longer to cook they are worth it, as they also are a cheaper cut of meat so they are great when you are cooking for a larger group of people.
Greek Lamb Sandwich with Harissa Yogurt Sauce cut in half

How to Make This Greek Lamb Sandwich with Harissa Yogurt Recipe

For the lamb:

  1. Make seasoning. Trim any excess fat from the lamb shanks. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic cloves until it forms a paste. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic paste, thyme, oregano, 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.
  2. Marinate lamb. Add the lamb to a medium baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Massage the marinade into the meat then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Remove the meat from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  4. Sear lamb. Place a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, add the remaining oil and heat through. Add the lamb shanks and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  5. Braise lamb. Add the onion, celery, carrots and bay leaves. Add the wine then cover the pot and braise until the meat is fork tender but not quite falling off the bone, about 1½ hours.
  6. Shred lamb. Remove the shanks and let cool. When cool to the touch, thinly slice or shred the meat, discarding fatty pieces. Set aside in a covered bowl until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

For the harissa yogurt sauce:

  1. Mix harissa yogurt. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the Greek yogurt and harissa then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the cabbage salad:

  1. Grind spices. Using a mortar and pestle grind the spices together. In a small bowl whisk together the spice mixture with the olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Assemble cabbage salad. Add the cabbage to a medium mixing bowl and add the dressing, tossing to combine.

For serving

  1. Assemble and serve. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half and spread the harissa yogurt sauce on the bottom half one of the rolls. Pile lamb on top followed by cabbage salad. Cut the lamb sandwich in half crosswise then repeat with the remaining rolls.
lamb sandwich

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this lamb sandwich recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Greek Lamb Sandwich with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

Print Pin
Prep Time 1 hr 45 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 40 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the lamb:

  • 3 pounds lamb shank, (about 3 medium shanks)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves

For the harissa yogurt sauce:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons harissa*

For the cabbage salad:

  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 4 ciabatta rolls

Instructions:

For the lamb:

  • Trim any excess fat from the lamb shanks. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic cloves until it forms a paste. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic paste, thyme, oregano, 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.
  • Add the lamb to a medium baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Massage the marinade into the meat then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Remove the meat from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  • Place a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, add the remaining oil and heat through. Add the lamb shanks and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion, celery, carrots and bay leaves. Add the wine then cover the pot and bake until the meat is fork tender but not quite falling off the bone, about 1½ hours.
  • Remove the shanks and let cool. When cool to the touch, thinly slice or shred the meat, discarding fatty pieces. Set aside in a covered bowl until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

For the harissa yogurt sauce:

  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together the Greek yogurt and harissa then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the cabbage salad:

  • Using a mortar and pestle grind the spices together. In a small bowl whisk together the spice mixture with the olive oil and lemon juice. Add the cabbage to a medium mixing bowl and add the dressing, tossing to combine.

For serving

  • Slice the ciabatta rolls in half and spread the harissa yogurt sauce on the bottom half one of the rolls. Pile lamb on top followed by cabbage salad. Cut the sandwich in half crosswise then repeat with the remaining rolls.

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*Note: harissa is a spicy North African paste and can be found at specialty grocery stores, most Whole Foods or online here.

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