Sunday, 16 December 2012

Doner Kebab

It was the morning after the night before and I was after something to satisfy my cheap red wine-induced hunger. Enter my most unashamed guilty pleasure - the kebab. Now everyone loves a kebab at the end of the night out, but what about the morning after? As a student there would be many a night out when I'd drunkenly shove a half-eaten kebab into my mini fridge, knowing full well that morning me would find it and be eternally grateful to night me for the thoughtful gesture. The partially-consumed snack would even find its way into my girlfriend's parents' fridge from time to time, much to their (I imagine) appreciation.
After very little deliberation I decided the only cure for my hangover would be a delicious kebab, and I set about rounding up the ingredients. About 500g of lamb mince, 100g of fresh breadcrumbs, 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin and dried coriander, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Grate a medium white onion, and do the same with 2 cloves of garlic.
Mix all of the ingredients together, getting your hands stuck in to make sure all of the spice and seasonings are nice and evenly distributed. Take the mixture and form into hamburger patties.
Take any empty tin that you might have lying around and line with a couple of layers of cling film. Make sure it's as flush as possible with the inside of the tin...use a girlfriend with small hands if you want to avoid cutting yourself on the sharp edges. Stack the patties on top of each other, pushing them down so that you're forming a nice tight loaf.
Fold the cling film back on top of the tin so that it's airtight and heat the oven to 150C.
Place the tin in a pan of boiling water and cook in the oven for about an hour and ten minutes or so. Ideally, use a cooking thermometer to make sure the centre of the kebab reaches 70C.
Ahhh garlic mayonnaise. Because the next morning, nobody's breath is bad enough after ciders alone, this stuff really seals the deal. And you can't have a kebab without it...I won't hear it. Chilli sauce, optional for me. Garlic mayo, it's a must. You need 2 egg yolks, a teaspoon each of dijon mustard and white wine vinegar, salt and pepper, a minced clove of garlic and 300ml of olive oil.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and garlic and sloooowwwwly add the oil drop by drop until the mayonnaise starts to come together. Season well with S&P and set aside. 
I set up a nice little kebab station with chopped tomatoes and cucumber, sliced cabbage and hot chillis. Just before you're ready to build, stick your pita breads in the microwave for 10 seconds or so.
When the kebab has cooked thoroughly, pull it out of the oven and leave it to rest in the tin for about 10 minutes. Once your patience has well and truly run out, carefully remove from the tin and unwrap from the cling film. Imagine it's the world's greasiest, meatiest Christmas present.
Stick a fork down the centre and use a blowtorch to scorch the outside of the kebab. Using a sharp knife, carve juicy chunks of meat...the smells are incredible. Really takes you back to those stumbly 2am takeaway encounters.
And that's that. Serve with a pile of chips (what else?) and plenty of garlic mayonnaise. All the flavours of a takeaway, without the remorse/embarrassment/disapproving looks.

500g lamb mince
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1 medium white onion
2 cloves garlic
100g breadcrumbs

for the mayonnaise:
300ml olive oil
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper

pita breads, salad, chips!