East Coast Donair East Coast Donair

East Coast Donair | Food styling by Michael Elliott | Prop styling by Madeleine Johari Image by: Angus Fergusson

True Maritimers know lettuce doesn't really belong on a donair—after all, it's about the spiced meat and sweet, garlicky sauce—but adding this leafy green cuts the richness and provides great crunch.

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Total time 14 hours & 30 minutes

Ingredients

Beef:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons each sweet paprika and dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons each salt and onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 900 g medium ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic , finely grated or pressed
Donair Sauce:
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
Assembly:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 to 10 large Lebanese-style pitas (8 inches), warmed
Toppings (optional):
  • thinly sliced sweet onion
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • chopped plum tomatoes

Method

Beef: In small bowl, stir together flour, paprika, oregano, salt, onion powder, pepper and cayenne pepper.

In food processor, pulse together half each of the beef, garlic and flour mixture until paste-like consistency.

Scrape into large bowl; repeat with remaining beef, garlic and flour mixture. Using hands, knead beef mixture until smooth and sticky, 15 to 20 times.

Shape beef mixture into 6- x 4-inch loaf; place on greased rack on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 300°F oven until instant-read thermometer inserted in centre reads 160°F, about 2 hours. Let cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 12 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.) Using sharp knife, cut meat into very thin slices.

Donair Sauce: In bowl, stir together milk, sugar and garlic powder until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar; using small spoon, gently stir mixture 4 or 5 times (do not overmix). Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 4 hours.)

Assembly: In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat; cook one-quarter of the beef slices, stirring, until browned and crispy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cover to keep warm. Working in batches, repeat 3 times with remaining oil and beef slices. Top pitas with beef, Donair Sauce, onion, lettuce and tomatoes (if using). 

Tip from The Test Kitchen: To ensure that the donair sauce keeps its thick texture, resist the urge to stir it more than five times.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Donair step-by-step

1. In food processor, pulse mixture together until paste-like consistency.

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2. Form into loaf and bake on greased rack in 300°F oven for about 2 hours.

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3. Refrigerate for 12 hours, then cut into very thin slices.

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4. Pan-fry slices until crispy. Serve on pitas with desired sauces and toppings.

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Nutritional facts Per each of 10 servings: about

  • Fibre 3 g
  • Sodium 884 mg
  • Sugars 19 g
  • Protein 25 g
  • Calories 639
  • Total fat 33 g
  • Potassium 329 mg
  • Cholesterol 84 mg
  • Saturated fat 15 g
  • Total carbohydrate 60 g

%RDI

  • Iron 28
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 3
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 11
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 22
  • Vitamin C 10
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Lunch & Dinner

East Coast Donair

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