Doner kebab is my takeaway of choice. Despite the fact I know it’s packed with fat and probably has bits of the animal in that I don’t even want to think about, I love the spices and the cooking that results in a charred, rippable meat.
In one of my occasional body cleansing moments I decided I had to find a way of making it at home, and making it healthier. I’m a serial dieter, none of which have ultimately done any good, but I do have an extensive knowledge of who does what food best. For a decent doner, I knew my best bet was The Hairy Bikers. Enter this recipe. (credit for the Featured Image above goes to them as well: like most food in my house, the doner meat doesn’t last long enough for a photograph)
However, I found it fiddly and time consuming in the preparation part which always puts me off. Patience is not one of my virtues. I went to work on the recipe and, below, is how I cook my doner meat now. I owe part of the inspiration to the BBC programme, Eat Well for Less, who made a doner meatloaf. Total genius! Quick prep, slam in the oven, crusty burnt parts around the outside and a fantastic doner flavour to put in tortillas or pitta bread. Add copious amounts of salad and it’s a meal that you can finally, hand on heart, say is healthy.
400g lamb mince (or I have used beef for ease)
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt (I like Halen Mon salt with spices added as well)
1 tsp plain flour
Preheat the oven to GM4. Mix everything together in a bowl. I always use my hands for this because, really, you might as well. Push it all into a rough loaf shape on a greased baking tray or push it down into a well-greased loaf tin. Place in the oven for an hour, checking to make sure it has got toasted but not burned on top.
To serve, I like thinly slicing the meatloaf and serving it on a dish in the centre of the table along with sliced salad, red onions, garlic sauce or sweet chilli sauce and (for my son) a hot, peppery chilli sauce.
Like the best family recipes, it’s not difficult. I have prepared the meatloaf the night before and put it in the oven to cook while I was teaching for an hour when time constraint meant I wouldn’t have time to make it from scratch. And subtly fiddling with the spices will give you a different flavour. Add some curry spices, or replace the coriander and cumin with basil and oregano for a more traditional meatloaf. Make it yours.
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