Genuine London Doner kebab recipe?

Recipes for all sausages

Postby Patricia Thornton » Sat May 13, 2006 1:23 pm

I couldn't agree more Oddley, after all look what's it's done for Dan Brown!
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Postby breaddrink » Sat May 13, 2006 5:06 pm

"I should think that no domestic electric machine will produce the high temperatures of the commercial GAS kebab grills."

It may have been lost in my babbling but I own a commercial machine and it should probably also be noted that commercial machines, electric or gas run to similar heats.
Gas is more seen, the machines are cheaper, more portable and cheaper to run.
The amp pull on the electric machines is hideous, frankly but they do crank out comparable BTUs.

Like many things since my move, some kinds of food just don't cut it in America. Some are better.
The cheese in America for one is terrible compared to England's. Their ideas of cheddar is a bright orange soft product. The kinds of sausage are different entirely and again it's not the nicer/worse argument. It's the fact that the kind I want aren't available. It doesn't mean I've forgotten what the run of the mill pack of Bowyers pork sausages tastes like. I simply haven't.
The differences in standards and what is expected in a product really can't be blamed on my memory...I find that kind of presumption really rather strange to hear and 'improvements' and bettering a recipe is a very personal thing, but personally I don't like to make improvements or changes until I understand the fundamental basics. The theory of how a product/recipe works in the first place or you're skimping on your options and never truly understand it.

I'm not question if it's any good or not. The fact of the matter is, I've never had a kebab of that high quality before and the whole if it's 'nicer' or not argument is pretty much besides the point. It is different.
It's not the same thing and not what I'm interested in making and seems to be the same stumbling block on every forum I've read when frustrated would be kebab makers get bombarded with "Oh just buy a leg of lamb - it's much nicer" style arguments.
It may be...and in many ways if it's cooked on a spit it may even still be classed as a Doner, but it's not the SAME and because of my situation isn't what I'm searching for.

That said, the majority of you didn't do this and managed the taking on board of an understanding of me trying to make a commercial style product on this forum without dismissing it and has been what's set most of these replies aside from other forum replies I've read, and I thank you all for managing to do that without simply correcting my taste buds :D

Thanks again guys...I'll get some pictures and get back to you when I've moved and I get all of my worldly possessions back.
Move in date is the 2nd of next month.

Rob.
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Postby aris » Sat May 13, 2006 5:48 pm

You can find nice cheese in the US - you just have to look for it. Places like Trader Joes (if there is one in your area) is particularly good, otherwise any delicatessen would have nice cheeses. The cheese made in California - in particular the Californian parmesan is excellent. I lived in CA for 8 years when I was a lad.
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Postby Wohoki » Sat May 13, 2006 8:26 pm

My brother-in-law claims that in up-state New York there is a shop called Cheeses of Nazareth, in a town called Nazareth, and they sell cheese. I have to take his word for this, because he lives in NJ.
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Postby Fallow Buck » Mon May 15, 2006 8:52 am

HI guys,

Just a couple of points on terminology.

The Gyros is the grek word for Donner and the States have taken the word as is for the name of such a kebab (or kebob as I think it is referred to over there??)

Technically the Layered meat version is another type of Doner as it is cooked on the upright spit, but generally doner refers to the minced version.

Souvlaki is what you would call shish kebab. In Greece this is usually cubes of belly or shoulder skewered and cooked over charcoal. Authentic greek souvlaki usualy has salt pepper and oregano sprinkled on it as it cooks.

As for the emulsifiers,

I really don't think that this is where you are struggling to get the authentic taste you seek. The factory made versions you speak of are putting fillers (rubbish) into the donner, mostly gristle and skin etc. The difference in taste is minor beteween what we made and these products. I really believe that if you focus on the main parts you will get what you are looking for:

1) Mixing the mince for at least 20-30 mins in your kitchen aid then kneading each pattie for 3-5 mins before skewering.

2) Cook it slowly to start with then crisp it up by moving the skewer closer to the heat source for a bit. Don't forget to give the first cut to the dog.

It's is also worth noting that the main key to a good doner is in the cut. It is very difficult to cut a doner well and anything over 2mm is too thick. Use a ham knife and keep it very sharp. Hold the knife at a 45 degree angle pointing upwards with the blade flat against the kebab. It is important not to saw the meat as you won't get a good cut. instead make a sharp downwards cut pulling the knife thhrough the meat for 6-8" at a time. This is really difficult to do, let alone write about!! :wink:

I'll speak to my dad today and find out his exact herb/spice mixture and pass it on.

Good luck,
FB
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Postby breaddrink » Mon May 15, 2006 9:02 am

That would be fabulous.
Thanks once again, FB.

Rob.

Fallow Buck wrote:I'll speak to my dad today and find out his exact herb/spice mixture and pass it on.

Good luck,
FB
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Postby Fallow Buck » Tue May 16, 2006 9:10 am

Rob,

I've just re-read your first post and a couple of things spring to mind. Firstly you mentioned that the tsate was OKbut it was the consistency that was a problem. A lack of leatheryness I think you mentioned.

That will definately be down to the mixing.

The other thing I noticed is that you mentioned tht you bought a small commercial machine that takes a 10lb leg. I Hate to say it but I don't think a true commercial machine will go that small, hence why it isn't crisping up. You tend to find tht the last 4"-6" of a donner doesn't crisp up and cook in the same way as the first part of a big leg. I think it has something to do with the circumfrence and the depth of cooking given the spin. By definition a bigger leg's surface moves faster given a set rotation speed.

I'll get that spice mix for you when I can get hold dad and pass it on.

Rgds,
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Postby Fallow Buck » Tue May 16, 2006 2:25 pm

HI Again,

I spoke to dad and he said that he didn't really put a wide range of herbs and spices into his doners. The main thing was the pureed onions. We used big spanish onions thhat were quite spicy. Herbs added Were:

Salt
White Pepper
Mixed Herbs (well rubbed to dust)
Corriander.
Garlic powder (small)

Cumin was occasionally disacussed but we didn't use it. some others definately use it.

I think thhat should just about cover every angle so good luck!! It would be great to see some photo's of your efforts when you next make a kebab.

Oh.... Dimensions. Ig you have something in the region of an 18" tall kebab then you want it to be about 6" diameter at the base and about 9" to 10" diameter at the top.

Laters,

FB
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Postby breaddrink » Tue May 16, 2006 3:08 pm

That's great help again, FB.
I did notice that when I added pureed onion to the meat mix the smell of doners was suddenly THERE...
Disturbing as that sounds.

Can't wait to try this out...

Rob.

*Edit*
Pff, well not to just totaly rain down compliments on you, but again loads of thanks for that ham knife suggestion.
Looking for kebab knives and gyro knives brought up one or two ludicrously expensive items online...Ham knives do look like they might be just the ticket for me and available from so many places that the prices appear to be more reasonable.
One other last thing I did need...The meat shovel to gather the meat slices as I cut that kind of fits under the skewer plate to catch all the pieces.
Any thoughts on that one?
I can't locate a single one (well not any that are sensibly priced) and it's possibly due to me not being able to find out the name of them.
Just discovered another with the retail price of 90 dollars.
90 dollars for a curved metal pan...I just don't understand the pricing on this stuff.

Fallow Buck wrote:HI Again,

I spoke to dad and he said that he didn't really put a wide range of herbs and spices into his doners. The main thing was the pureed onions. We used big spanish onions thhat were quite spicy. Herbs added Were:

Salt
White Pepper
Mixed Herbs (well rubbed to dust)
Corriander.
Garlic powder (small)

Cumin was occasionally disacussed but we didn't use it. some others definately use it.

I think thhat should just about cover every angle so good luck!! It would be great to see some photo's of your efforts when you next make a kebab.

Oh.... Dimensions. Ig you have something in the region of an 18" tall kebab then you want it to be about 6" diameter at the base and about 9" to 10" diameter at the top.

Laters,

FB
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Postby Fallow Buck » Wed May 17, 2006 9:46 am

Rob,

Buy a cheap frying pan and stencil using a plate on the base a curved line taking in about one fifth of the diameter atthe deepest point. you can then cut this out and file down the edges smooth. The deepest part of the cut should be at 2 O'clock if you are holding the knife in your right hand. This allows you to cut freely without having your other hand in front of your body obstructing you.

I should imagine that you could do this for a few quid. The cheaper the pan the easier it is likely to cut...

when you have cut the meat, you can leave it in the front off the machine for a cuple of minutes to drain a bit. The machine will keep it warm.

Rgds,
FB
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Postby Paul Kribs » Wed May 17, 2006 2:28 pm

Back in the 70's I asked the bloke in the kebab shop where he got such a utensil and he explained it pretty much as Fallow Buck does.. a really cheap thin aluminium frying pan, cut with tinsnips and cleaned up with emery cloth..

Regards, Paul Kribs
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Postby breaddrink » Wed May 17, 2006 4:18 pm

Sounds like a plan to me.
I believe my one also has a mechanism where you push it under the spit and push to stop the rotation for cutting(other than the rotation switch), so cutting it out of a pan will work well as I can put the notch in the shovel that it requires.

Thanks to you both.

Rob.

Paul Kribs wrote:Back in the 70's I asked the bloke in the kebab shop where he got such a utensil and he explained it pretty much as Fallow Buck does.. a really cheap thin aluminium frying pan, cut with tinsnips and cleaned up with emery cloth..

Regards, Paul Kribs
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Postby Bangerboy » Fri Jun 23, 2006 5:35 pm

Wow I have been following this thread for some time now and I am now beginning to become enlightend.

I too am a Doner junkie, and have often thought about having a go at making my own. Just like sausages that I have started making recently, I will give it a try thanks to Bucks guidance, he is now my Guru !.

So the pureed onion is the trick eh. Well Ive bought a small gyros cooker form the earlier link and have minced and frozen some lamb. The only problem I can see is that I dont have any access to a mixer at all let alone a dough hook , so I guess im gonna have to do it the old fashioned way and do it by hand.

But ill be sure to inform all of how it turned out.

My sausages are not quite there yet and im sure the Doner wont be spot on at all, but im gonna try boys !!!
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Postby moggy » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:08 am

What an interesting thread, and I am impressed by your dedication to your task.

I really found this comment amusing
Rik vonTrense wrote:I doubt if you are prepared to stand there and cook a 10lbs leg and slice it off as it becomes cooked enough to eat and then maybe somehow vacuum packing each helping of donner for later use.


As that is pretty well what people say when I mention i make sausages.

I would be interested to hear what you finally use in your authentic UK donner mixture, I have to confess to liking a well & recently cooked lamb tasting (some really taste of very little) kebab with fresh salad and hot chilli sauce with a pickled chilli on it - yum!
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Postby barracuda » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:05 am

This is the first time I have visited a forum but while doing research on Donner Kebabs I came across your posts.
We may be able to help each other out here.
Like yourself I too have moved abroad and have cravings for the good old English Style Donner kebab. After a long time trying I can safley say I have mastered the taste and texture of the meat. The problem I have is getting the meat to bind correctly. When cooking it tends to split this does not affect the taste but makes it difficult to cut sometimes impossible.
I have a bar in Pattaya Thailand, a place where it's impossible to buy a donner the success we have achieved with the Kebabs have enabled us to sell them in the bar and we have had many satisfied customers, we are becoming so successful I need to make bigger lumps of meat. If I make one bigger than 3 kilo it splits and just will not cut correctly under this size seems reasonably ok.
I have the ingredience I was hoping you had the answer of how to get it to stick to the post. If anyone else is reading this and has the answer please please let me know.
We use Rusk and water to help with the binding but I think this is what is causing the splitting, there must be something else out there that does work.
Anyway here�s the ingredince we use

2 kilo Lamb
2 kilo Lean Beef, I know you want Lamb Donner but if you want the authentic taste trust me.
Half kilo Rusk
Half kilo Water
1 table spoon Cumin powder
1 table spoon Coriander powder
1 tea spoon black ground pepper
1 tea spoon Chili powder
2 ounce butter or margarine
A very small amount of salt

Using a meat grinder grind the meat from frozen after it has been grinded using a medium sized grinding plate re grind using the smallest grinding plate available, this will turn the meat into a paste. If you do not have a grinder ask the butcher to do it for you most will be helpful.
Add all the above ingredience and mix in a mixer, the longer you mix the better the finished product. Once this is complete start to build up your mixture onto your Kebab spit, we sometimes use a 4inch pipe as a mold not the right way to do it but it does work. Put it in the freezer for a couple of days and then its ready to cook
Hope this helps
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