You can make doner kebabs at home that are even better than the takeaway!
One Christmas I was given a small rotisserie so that I could make doner kebabs at home. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bit of a gimmicky gift and after a few attempts it went into storage where it has remained ever since.
It turns out that those huge rotisseries you see at doner takeaways are big not just because they need to serve a lot of doners. They are big so that by the time they shave off the crispiest meat, more meat has charred up ready to serve the next customer.
That just doesn’t happen with those small upright rotisseries. You end up waiting a very long time before the next bit of meat is ready for carving.
The philosophy behind cooking authentic doner kebabs.
Doner kebabs are traditionally made by skewering and stacking marinated meat patties with minced meat around a large upright rotisserie.
The finished skewers are then frozen to help the meat stay on the skewer.
This frozen skewered meat is then placed on the rotisserie where it next to high heat. As it does, the outer layer defrosts and then cooks to perfection.
This is then shaved off and the next layer begins to cook and char.
How does this method for doner kebabs differ?
As I explained above, those baby rotisseries just don’t work.
So the best alternative is to blend the marinated meat and then form it into meat loaves.
I promise you won’t notice the difference and BONUS… you know exactly which meat is going into your Doner kebabs. A few recent study demonstrated that we weren’t always eating what we thought we were.
Some studies have shown that too often the meat found in doner kebabs isn’t 100% lamb as thought but also showed traces of beef, pork, chicken, horse and donkey.
I guess there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you know and are happy with what is in your kebab.
I use beef in my doner kebabs
Although I am a big fan of 100% lamb doner kebabs, I have a few fussy eaters at my house.
So I usually make my doner kebabs with beef.
The minced meat you use is up to you but it should be at least 15% if not 20% fat.
This seems to be a large recipe… Why is that?
At my house we do love our doner kebabs.
I make a large batch each time. If we aren’t serving a big crowd, I freeze what isn’t used.
It freezes really well and is great to have on hand for that last minute doner kebab craving.
You could easily halve this recipe if that is better for you.
So then… Let’s get down to how to make delicious doner kebabs at home!
What about the sauces?
There are two sauces that simply have to go on my Doner kebabs. Give these a try…
White Kebab Sauce
230g (1 cup) Greek yoghurt
230g (1 cup) mayonnaise
½ tsp black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried dill (optional)
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste
Place the mayonnaise and yoghurt in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and add salt to taste. Keep in an air-tight jar or squeeze bottle in the fridge until required.
Red Kebab Sauce
3 red bird’s eye chillies
400g tinned (canned) chopped tomatoes
3 – 4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp black pepper
Juice of one lemon or 1 tbsp white vinegar
Salt to taste
Place all of the ingredient up to and including the lemon juice/vinegar in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste it and add salt to taste. Store in the fridge in an air-tight jar or squeeze bottle until needed.
If you like these Doner kebabs, you might like to try some of these recipes too…
Piri piri chicken
Doner Kebabs without Rotisserie
- 2 brown onions, blended
- 2k (4lb) minced beef or lamb 80/20% meat to fat ratio
- 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika or chilli powder
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- FOR THE SALAD TOPPING
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, grated
- ½ red or white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 head of lettuce, thinly sliced
- Put the blended onions in a cheese cloth or similar and twist into a ball as tight as you can to extract the onion juice into a bowl. Only the onion juice is used in this recipe but the chopped dry onions can be use in the my seekh kebab recipes so no need for wastage!
- Place all the ingredients for the meat, including the onion juice in a food processor and blend into a fine paste. It is important that the meat be super fine so you will need to do this in batches.
- Form this mixture into two meat loaves and place each in oven proof roasting pans and cover loosely with foil.
Pre-heat your oven to 180c/356f and cook the meat loaves for 2 hours.
- After two hours, the meat loaves will be cooked and there will be a lot of meat juices in the pans. Retain the meat juices for later and place the cooked meat loaves in the fridge to cool and harden. You could speed this process up by placing in the freezer.
- Once cold and hard, take a sharp chef’s knife and slice the meat into thin strips.
- To finish, place a pan over high heat and pour 3 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil or leftover beef fat from the meat loaves in the pan and cook the meat slices in batches until crispy.
- Pour in a little of the reserved cooking juices to moisten up the meat and transfer to a heated bowl to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining meat slices, adding more oil/fat as required.
- Doner meat can be eaten on its own with some fresh salad vegetables and a sauce or two. I like to serve it on top of a naan or chapati with loads of salad veggies and the white and red takeaway styles kebab sauces mentioned above.
Sunday 29th of January 2023
Absolutely delicious. I used the onions left over after the squeeze. I caramelised them in butter and added to flatbread dough once cold. Was amazing.
Thanks so much for this recipe. I can indulge my Doner kebab fetish with relative impunity!
Tuesday 7th of February 2023
Great to hear and I love the use of the onions. Thanks very much. Dan