Post by Corey Richardson
It's known as Döner kebab meat in the UK, but it's also known as Gyros
meat in other parts of the world.
Has anyone here attempted to make their own at home?
Attempting this without special equipment is a hopeless undertaking.
Ignore anyone telling you otherwise. On the other hand, many home-made
attempted approximations are almost bound to be better than the real
thing, but they won't remotely be that thing. It is akin to trying to
replicate McDonald's hamburger at home, just harder. Below is what I
posted on the matter before.
Gyros/döner kebap may be loosely based on some ancient homemade dishes,
but the present incarnation is modern and is a restaurant/commercial
eatery dish and requires special equipment, particularly a vertical
spit, rotating in front of an electric or gas source of radiant heat. It
also requires a special machine to form a tight meat cone, as doing this
properly by hand would usually be too hard even for an experienced
professional cook. Most gyros/döner stands get their meat cones frozen
from some central source; they don't make them themselves. In most
cases, it is a true fast-food operation, in the worst sense of the word.
That said, even the best commercial made-in-situ versions leave rather a
lot to be desired, the dish being among the most overrated of any of
'em, as far as I'm concerned. Why imitate mediocrity?
Anyway, here is what I posted before, regarding actually making real
gyros/döner. Make your own conclusions.
Making real gyros is not simple, I have to say. Do you have the
necessary equipment (a vertical, slowly revolving spit, akin to a
rotisserie), at least? Correctly made gyros or döner kebap is
definitely not a trivial undertaking for a home cook and, if one aims
for a really good result, is a challenge even to a skilled, professional
one. Here's how it is made: Most of the meat is sliced, the rest is
minced. Then, the meat is marinated overnight in a mixture of onion
juice, oil, salt and pepper. Then, the slices are arranged on the spit,
with the tight spaces between them filled with minced meat. The whole
thing is tightly formed and slowly cooked on the rotating spit, with the
meat getting "baked" together into a tight whole. Gradually, as the
outside gets cooked, one shaves off some meat with a sharp knife from
top to bottom, exposing, little by little, the raw interior to the heat,
and continuing in this way until all the meat is cooked and shaved off.
The cooked meat is, of course, supposed to be served throughout the
rather long process, with the juice/sauce that collects underneath.
Here in Germany, döner kebap is much more popular than anywhere else in
the world. There are some 1,300 döner stands in Berlin alone, way more
than in Istanbul, let alone Athens. But then, of course, gyros/döner is
not all that traditional in its supposed ancestral lands...