500g lamb mince
100g of stale breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
a good grind of black pepper
1 medium onion coarsely grated.

Mix thoroughly using a rubber spatula and then place back into the fridge to chill.
Mince the chilled ingredients again through the finest plate which should render a smooth, meaty pâté. In making something like a hamburger you want to keep the mixture loose to allow a good texture when cooked; with doner meat we’re looking for as near a homogenous slab of flavoured protein as possible so you can’t overwork it – as long as the whole thing remains as cold as possible so the fat can’t escape.


You could cook the meat in a regular terrine dish but bear with me here. Honestly it’s worth it.


Clean an empty, standard 1lb tin and line with two layers of cling film. Be careful of the edge, it’s lethal. Work the chilled mixture quickly through your fingers until it looks more homogeneous then form into fat burger shapes that will just fit into the tin. In the real thing, discs of the paste are piled onto a skewer which gives the shape and a slight horizontal grain structure. We’ll try to keep to that idea. Pack the pucks into the tin and then close the cling film tightly to seal the top.


Stand the tin in the bottom of a big casserole and add boiling water to about half its depth. Put into a medium oven, around 150C, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 75C – mine took around an hour and a half – then turn the oven off and leave for 15 minutes while you prepare a salad mix, like a dry coleslaw, heavy on the white cabbage, dressed with lemon.



Turn out and unwrap your mini-elephant leg and trim the bottom so it will stand on end on an oven tray or metal plate.



To serve, play a blowtorch over the surface of the meat and then slice vertically, stabilising the cylinder with a carving fork if necessary.


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