Sunday, 3 February 2019

Delicious Homemade Doner Kebab Meat / Lamb Gyro Meat - Gluten Free and Dairy Free (includes Thermomix instructions)

A delicious doner kebab that you don't have to feel guilty about!

If you love a doner kebab, but you feel kind of uncomfortable about not knowing exactly what you're eating, then here is the perfect recipe to recreate what you get from your local takeaway at home, without any fancy equipment, and know that only good, wholesome ingredients have gone into it!

If you also happen love a good fresh tomato chilli sauce on top, and some garlic yoghurt sauce, I have blogged my very easy recipes for those too, which require no cooking, just mixing ingredients together! The chilli sauce recipe is here, and the garlic yoghurt sauce recipe is here.

If you're not into sauces, this is also delicious without any sauces and just served with fresh salad and a tiny squeeze of lemon, as there is so much flavour in the meat - even though I might be biased, I do not think that you could come closer to the flavour and texture of the doner meat from a typical kebab house in this country if you tried! Close your eyes and eat it, and you're there - except, dare I say it, it's even tastier!

Anyway, enough eulogising, and onto the recipe. If you're familiar with my recipes, you'll know that I always prefer to use fresh ingredients. Using onions and garlic granules / powder is not something I usually do, and it's not a shortcut here - it's for the flavour, and to keep the texture of the meat firm and close enough to thinly slice when it's chilled: as opposed to using fresh onion which would add a lot of unwanted liquid to the mixture, as well as the flavour of raw onion (and garlic) in this context, which is less authentic-tasting.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, please bear in mind this is a homemade replication of the doner meat found in English takeaways, rather than one of my more gourmet affairs - if you give it a try, please leave me a comment to let me know what you think! If you'd like to make more authentic Turkish kebabs, please have a look at my recipes for chicken shish kebabs, and lamb (adana) kebabs and the various accompaniments - great for BBQs!

Also, did I mention, once your meat is cooked and sliced, and your salad is prepped - it takes about 10-15 seconds to heat the meat through, and less than 5 minutes to throw together a home made doner kebab - how amazing is that!!!

Serves: 800g of 20% fat organic lamb mince (plus herbs and spices) yielded approximately 770g of cooked meat after draining and cooling. 100g of sliced meat makes for a very generously stuffed large doner kebab, so in total this would serve around 8 to 12 people (depending on serving sizes). Freezes well.

(All tsp/tbsp measures are level, tsp = 5ml, tbsp = 15ml)
  • 800-900g minced lamb meat, approximately 20% fat, preferably organic (if you mince your own use shoulder). Some kebab shops these days use 50% beef in their doner kebabs, for a less "lamb-y" taste, feel free to follow suit, but ensure a similar fat content
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste (i.e. finely ground sea salt) - start off with 1 tsp if you don't add much salt to your food, and cook and taste a small piece - 2 tsp replicates the seasoning in doner kebab meat (add an extra pinch if using 900g lamb)
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 x 15ml tbsp onion granules/powder (NOT onion salt)
  • 2 tsp garlic granules/powder (NOT garlic salt)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (mild/sweet)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, omit if you want no heat, but only gives a mild/medium spiciness)
To serve
  • Pitta breads, lightly toasted and split
  • White cabbage, finely shredded and tossed in a little lemon juice
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Pickled green chillies
  • Chilli sauce
  • Garlic yoghurt sauce or tzaziki / cacik

One 2lb loaf tin: approximately 21cm x 11cm. Ovenproof dish to put loaf tin in with a few inches room around it (for bain-marie). Food processor. Optional food probe thermometer.

1. Lightly grease your loaf tin, and line with one whole piece of rectangular greaseproof baking paper pressed firmly into the tin, and preheat your oven to gas mark 4 / 180C. Boil a full kettle.

2. Whizz together all of the dry ingredients in a food processor or spice grinder to get a fine, even mix - it will yield about 50g - and set aside [Thermomix 30 Seconds / Speed 10].

3. Process the minced lamb with the spices until thoroughly blended together in a thick, sticky paste-like mixture. I recommend doing this in two batches - add 400g of lamb to your food processor, with half the spices (25g) and blend for around 1 minute until it looks like a relatively evenly coloured thick paste [Thermomix 1 minute / turn slowly up to Speed 8]. Add the first batch to your loaf tin, press firmly into the corners, then add the second batch on top. 

4. Smooth the mixture as best you can with a spatula or spoon, then use a clean, wet spoon to completely smooth the top (you may have to wet it a few times).

5. Place the loaf tin into a rectangular ovenproof dish with a few inches clearance, put onto the middle shelf of the oven, and then carefully pour a freshly boiled kettle of water into the dish *around* the loaf tin, until it comes up to approximately the same height as the meat in the tin (no higher), thus making a 'bain-marie'. Try not to get any water into the loaf tin with the meat in it.

6. Bake for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature of the middle of the 'loaf' has reached 75C and it is cooked through (you'll need an extra 10 minutes or so for 900g lamb).

7. Remove the loaf  tin from the bain-marie and drain out the excess oil. At this point, if you wish, you can take the meat out of the tin, brush lightly with oil and quickly brown all sides of it under a very hot grill, or with a blowtorch. Return to the loaf tin, and weight it down for about an hour whilst cooling (you can cool quickly by placing in a dish of very cold water). To weight it down, cover with a rectangle of greaseproof paper, then you can put a piece of card covered in foil on top, and use tins to weight it down. 

8. Chill overnight, or for at least 4 hours before slicing as thinly as possible with a very sharp knife or a meat slicer. You can either slice it as you would a loaf of bread, or for long, thin slices like you'd get in a bought kebab, slice the whole meat 'loaf' into two horizontally through the middle (like you would a burger bun), and then slice along the long side. My weapon of choice for slicing meat into thin slices is a Victorinox pastry knife - link here for it on Amazon (affiliate link).

9. To heat the meat for serving, take a large non-stick frying pan which you have a lid for, or can use a cloche with (a high domed lid you can put inside the pan - alternatively you could cover with foil if no lid is available). Heat the pan over a medium-high heat, then spray/brush lightly with oil, scatter in the lamb slices, add a tbsp or two of water and immediately put the lid / cloche over the top, so that the meat steam cooks. It will only take about 10-15 seconds if you've got your pan hot enough, and the slices will have a nice little bit of brown on some of them to add to the flavour. Use tongs to remove the hot meat from the pan and stuff into your pitta breads!

Serving suggestion
Toast and split a pitta bread, stuff with shredded iceberg lettuce, finely shredded white cabbage tossed in a little lemon juice, sliced cucumber and sliced tomatoes. Pile the hot meat on top, then drizzle with some tomato and chilli sauce, and garlicky yoghurt sauce - click on the links in bold for my sauce recipes for a completely delicious fresh homemade experience! Serve pickled chillies on the side if you like it spicy!

If you're cooking for someone with coeliac disease, or you can't tolerate any traces of gluten, be sure to check that herbs, spices, dried onion / garlic etc. don't have any warnings about being made in a factory that also handles gluten / wheat / rye / barley, or have a 'may contain' warning. Although it's cheaper to buy certain things in bulk, sometimes they are contaminated, so always read the labels.

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