Recipe for Smoked Goat Shawarma with Couscous and Chopped Salad

By: Genevieve Taylor
Prep Time
5 Min
Cook Time
360 Min

Recipe for Smoked Goat Shawarma with Couscous and Chopped Salad






3 kg.

kid goat shoulder (bone-in) or use lamb shoulder if you prefer

1 tbsp.

cumin seeds

2 tsp.

black peppercorns

2 tsp.

fenugreek seeds

1 tsp.

cardamom pods



1 tbsp.


1 tsp.


1 tsp.

ground ginger


lemons, finely grated zest and juice

3 tbsp.

olive oil

2 tsp.



to serve

cooked couscous, stirred through with a little butter and seasoning


cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small

red onion, thinly slices


flatleaf parsley, chopped

seeds from 1 pomegranate

  1. Toast cumin, peppercorns, fenugreek, cardamom, and cloves in a small frying pan. Tip into a spice mill, add the sumac, cinnamon, and ginger and grind to a fine powder. Pour into a bowl and stir through the lemon juice and zest, olive oil and salt.

  2. Take the goat or lamb shoulder and pierce with a few deep cuts. Pour the spice rub onto the goat and rub in all over. Cover loosely and set aside to marinate at room temperature for a couple of hours, or overnight in the fridge.

  3. To light the smoker, start by undoing all the layers. This is a really long slow cook so you need plenty of fuel. Fill a charcoal starter with charcoal and light, leaving to burn until its lit about halfway up. Add a load more charcoal to the base of the smoker, spreading it into a ring around the edge. Tip the lit charcoal into the center - often called the minion method of lighting - and add two or three wood chunks.

  4. Place the next layer of the smoker on top and fill the trough with water - this helps to create an even, steamy heat that keeps food moist during long cooking times. Set the next layer of the smoker onto the water layer and add an empty roasting tin to catch any juices from the meat.

  5. Add the top layer of the smoker and place the goat directly onto the cooking grid. Insert a temperature probe deep into the meat so you can monitor the temperature of the cook without having to open the smoker. You want to avoid opening the smoker unnecessarily as you will lose smoke and heat.

  6. Lock the lid in place and walk away for at least 3 hours, just keeping an eye on the temperature probe. Once the meat is at around 68-70C internal temp, undo the smoker, remove the goat and replace the smoker lid. Wrap the goat in a double layer of foil, reinsert the probe through the foil into the meat and slide the parcel back onto the top shelf of the smoker. Shut the lid down and cook for a further 3-4 hours or until the internal temp is 90C. Wrapping the meat halfway through a long slow cook just helps it get over the ‘stall’, which is where it seems to stop cooking and the temperature stays static for ages.

  7. Once the goat is cooked, unwrap and tease the meat apart with a couple of forks. Serve piled onto a bed of buttery couscous. Scatter over tomatoes, red onion, chopped parsley and some pomegranate seeds.

Genevieve Taylor

Live fire and barbecue expert Genevieve Taylor is the author of nine cookery books. Genevieve is on a mission to prove that great BBQ isn’t just about Man vs. Meat.

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