Donairs and Donair Pizza

While I was away in Spain meeting my new team one of them, Simon, asked me about food in Nova Scotia and if he came here what he would have to try. The first thing that came to mind was donairs.

Truthfully I don’t actually eat a lot of donairs, but when I do I enjoy them. It is much more common that we will make a donair pizza here at home and eat that instead.

So in case anyone is interested I thought I would share the recipes we use to either make either donairs or the pizza.

We tried a few different variations of the donair meat and sauce recipes, but our favourite came from this site by Glen Petitpas https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~gpetitpas/Links/Donair.html.

Donair
Image From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/40726522@N02/8600781370/

As I mentioned we usually make a pizza instead of the donair pictured above. To do this we cover the crust with the donair sauce, break up the meat into little chunks and spread it out then you can add onions and tomatoes over top of that if you like. To finish it off cover it with grated mozzarella cheese. Cooking time really depends on the crust but for us we usually do 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.

If you happen to try out any of the recipes below let me know what you think. As I’m writing this we have donair meat cooking in the oven for pizza tonight and I’m looking forward to it already.

Donair Meat

  • Time: 3hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3 pounds lean hamburger
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne red pepper (depending on your taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

The original recipe recommends seeing if you can have your butcher or meat shop triple grind your hamburg, but we’ve only done this a couple times and didn’t notice a huge difference. We now just grab packages from the cooler in our supermarket.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead for 20 minutes. Shape into two tightly formed loaves. Bake on broiler pan for 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool loaves and slice into thick slabs. Meat can be frozen for future use. You may find that the inner parts of the loaf are not browned enough. This can be remedied by re-heating the meat in a frying pan. This browns it nicely and gives it that slightly chewier texture.

Heat donair meat in a frying pan. Dip a pita bread in water and fry in frying pan to soften (this is VERY important). Place a generous amount of sauce on bread. Top with meat, chopped onions and tomatoes and finish off with lots more sauce. Put on some old clothes, then roll up or serve open face on a plate.

Donair Sauce

  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

(Or for a 14oz tin of sweetened condensed milk, add 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 tsp garlic powder)

I usually mix the garlic powder in with the vinegar first and then add the sweetened condensed milk. Stir it up until it is a consistent thick texture. We find it best to chill it in the fridge for a while before using.

Pizza Dough

  • Time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pkg yeast

Mix together & let yeast rise, then whisk in:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Add 4 cups flour

Knead.
Put dough in covered bowl in oven with light on for 1/2 – 1 hour. Makes 3 round pizzas, or two large square pizzas. Knead in a little flour if sticky. Oil pans & stretch dough to fit. Add toppings. Let sit at least 15 min. before baking. Bake at 450.

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