My daughter came home for the holidays so I made a new batch of beef shawarma rice. I took time to photograph the process of cutting, marinating, and the two step cooking I do to it. I haven’t seen this on the other sites, including the site I adapted my marinade from, and it seems to work really well for me. This time, I cooked it for a shorter time, 2.5 pounds for 90 minutes at 300 degrees. The meat came out of the oven medium rare, with some pink in the middle, and that allowed me to cook the meat a second time in a wok with onions to put the crisp on it. Next time I’ll heat the wok hotter OR use my grill pan with the raised edges to get a little more crispiness out of the meat.
Here’s the photograph collage of the various steps.
Here’s my reasoning. The marinade is what makes the thing. On a real shawarma machine, layers of thinly sliced beef are layered onto a long rod and the meat is slowly sliced off the outside edges as it gets crisp.
I’ve seen two ways of cooking the meat online, the first is in a pan, the second, is in the oven. Each of these has strengths and weaknesses, one being more tender at the cost of flavor, the other method more intense in flavor, but the possibility of the meat drying out. My thinking is that by cooking the meat in the oven first, but leaving it slightly under the amount of cooking desired for serving, that allows for a second method of cooking, the wok or grill, which intensifies the flavor, adds a bit more crispiness to the edge of the meat, and blackens it a bit (if desired). That way we can get the best of both worlds and more closely approximate the experience of grilled shawarma.
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Mine was flat and lifeless. I took an internet recommendation to feed it more. I also picked up a scale and have been feeding it more precisely. I fed it three times at 8 hour intervals to get it going more. It’s more than doubling now and the difference is night and day. It’s got so much life now. I think if I use it the bread will jump up out of the pan and run away! 😀
So, from now on, twice a day!
I had four loaves.
One, I added some flour and baked it last night for dinner. It came out ok. I’d say only moderate in flavor and the texture was so-so. The crust was the best part: crunchy and flavorful.
Then today, after letting it rise as much as it could overnight, it was like a risen flatworm, thicker, full of gluten strands, but still too flat. I took one of the loaves and rolled it into a decent shaped loaf and baked it. That came out a bit flat with fairly chewy dough, but great flavor. It was tasty, even with the flaws.
The last two loaves, I decided to use them, but redo them. I proofed some commercial yeast, added a bit of flour and dropped the two sticky, flat loaves into the mixer. Using low (setting 1) speed I mixed the yeast mixture into the dough and slowly added flour until I got a thicker consistency. I let it rest for 30 minutes, then separated it into two loaves. I used two bake pans and let them rise in an oven with just a light on inside. After two hours I had a decent rise, about double and put it in the oven.
In the oven, the loaves had a nice oven spring and at this point I was about triple the original volume of the loaves. They came out with a nice finish on them and the sourdough flavor was still there, and it’s not too bad. The crumb is a bit fine and I’d like to get much bigger holes in it, but I think it was ok for a “save” job.
Next try, hopefully I’ll get better loaf consistency and not have to try to rescue flat loaves 😀