Brisket Shawarma

I came across a video on social media that troubled me. It was labeled brisket shawarma. However, there was tzatziki (Greek), hummus (not typically in shawarma), a greek flatbread pita, and other misplaced toppings, which ultimately made inspired by a gyros and not at all shawarma. It was probably delicious, but it shook me to my core, and in that moment, I knew I needed to make a proper brisket shawarma. 

My version starts with a shawarma spiced brisket, which is smoked for 16 hours on my smoker until tender. It's topped with a homemade garlicky toum, shoor pickles, pickled turnips, and a Middle Eastern red hot pepper sauce called shatta. It's all wrapped in a large pita and crisped up on a griddle. 

The rich fatty brisket works so well with the sharp bite of the toum, and all the pickles help bring acid and a touch of sweetness to balance it all out. 

Now, to be clear, this isn't technically shawarma either. The flavors and presentation are inspired by shawarma, but the protein choice and smoking process are more of Texas BBQ. 

Fusion cooking is fun and can bring together flavors and cultures that don't typically mix. However, to execute it properly, I believe you need to research and pay respect to how the original dish is done before you simply give it a name that doesn't match its description.

Brisket Shawarma

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