I know someone who woke up one morning with a doner kebab stuck to his face.
He’d fallen asleep under the influence of alcohol while trying to eat a takeaway supper in bed and the kebab had slipped from plate to pillow to physog. It did nothing to help his hangover.
I suspect almost everyone’s got a story like that and I mean no disrespect to the numerous purveyors of doner kebabs on our High Streets but I only have to see that weird brown stripey compressed meat turning on its spit for my stomach to turn also.
Why would anyone want to do that to an innocent lamb?
If you are determined to have the real thing and have a lot of time on your hands, Tim Hayward wrote an entertaining piece for Britain’s Guardian newspaper detailing the production of a DIY doner kebab in a recycled spinach tin.
But in the latest in my occasional series on edible fast food cooked at home, I offer instead a recipe for a nice juicy shish kebab. You can make it with boned leg of lamb or skinless chicken breast or both.
It’s quick (apart from the marinade time), it’s easy and you can eat it with all the usual doner kebab accompaniments of pitta bread, salad, and chilli and yoghurt sauces. I just hope it ends up sticking to your ribs, not to your face.
Lamb (or Chicken) Kebabs
500g boneless lamb, cut into 2cm (3/4″) cubes or the same amount of skinless chicken breasts
For the marinade:
60 ml olive oil
Juice of a lemon
1 medium onion, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tspn ground cumin
2 tspn ground coriander
2 tspn sweet smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne
1 tspn salt
A good grinding of black pepper
For the yoghurt sauce:
250g Greek yoghurt
4-6 fat cloves of garlic
A few good glugs of olive oil
1 tbsp fresh or dried mint, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper
To complete the dish:
4 Mediterranean-style flatbreads or pitta breads
Ready-made chilli sauce
2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
Finely shredded red or white cabbage and red or white onion, mixed together and dressed with a little lemon juice
Pickled chillies (optional; I’ll post a recipe on Mrs P next week)
Grate the onion and mix it with the remaining marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the cubed lamb and/or chicken, cover, refrigerate and marinate for a minimum of six hours and up to 24.
If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them for half an hour or so before using so they don’t burn.
Just before you want to eat, make the yoghurt sauce by mixing the crushed peeled garlic into the yoghurt, whisking in the oil and adding salt and pepper to taste.
Get the rest of the sandwich ingredients ready because this is going to be a quick assembly job once the lamb is cooked.
Thread the meat onto skewers and baste with a little more of the marinade.
Grill or barbecue over a high heat (or use a smoking hot griddle pan) for 3-4 minutes a side or until cooked through, turning so they cook evenly.
While they’re cooking, warm the pitta or flatbreads.
Open up the bread, spread a dollop of yoghurt sauce on each, put a little cabbage and onion on top, drizzle in some chilli sauce to taste, cram in the lamb, then add a few slices of tomato and the pickled chillies (if using).
Add a few drops of lemon juice and eat while it’s still hot and dripping. Getting sauce on your shirt is almost obligatory.
What’s your favourite fast food? Vote below and I’ll give it a bash.