Friday, April 08, 2011

East Coast Donairs with Creamy Garlic Sauce

I think we have this recipe cut out from a St. John (NB) newspaper back from the 1980s. Actually, I'm positive about this.

If you haven't had a donair before, now is the time! Much like the much beloved 3 am party nosh that is the shawarma, the donair holds a similar place in the hearts and stomachs of Maritimers.

Seasoned meat.

Assorted toppings (tomatoes, raw onions, shredded lettuce, minced parsley and some tahini for me).

A tangy sweet and sour sauce laced with subtle garlic (definitely different than the garlic sauce I get on my shawarmas). It soaks the pita and will dribble down your arm if you add a little more milk than the proportions listed below call for.

Remember, you're not in it for the elegance. You're in it for the in-your-face awesome flavour.

It's what you're craving after one too many beers, or after a long week. Best of all, they're dead easy to make.

Turkey Donairs

(serves 8)


3 lb ground turkey
½ cup bread crumbs
1½ tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne
1 tsp each freshly ground pepper, salt and oregano
½ tsp celery salt


1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

2. Mix together all ingredients until it forms a sticky (or gluey consistency). You may do this by hand if you don't mind getting messy, or in a food processor if you're picky about these things.

3. Shape into an oblong log and place on a broiler pan (or cast iron frying pan) and bake for about 1¼. Drain off any fat as it cooks.

If you're making this ahead of time, chill and then slice. It's so much neater if you do it this way! Just reheat the meat before serving with pita, lettuce, tomatoes, sliced onion and Creamy Donair Sauce.

Creamy Garlic Donair Sauce


1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk (for real luxury, use whipping cream)
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp white vinegar


1. Whisk together sugar, milk and garlic powder. Gradually whisk in vinegar until mixture is thickened.

Tangy and delicious!


Locavore Family said...

Yah, I don't understand the whole donair thing around here, but people are CRAZY for it. The meat is so processed, the sauce so sickly sweet. The whole thing screams heartattack, but your version is much more upscale and healthier. Well done. :)

Alyson said...

You know, I don't remember having too many of them when I was a kid, but my Mum always made this recipe at home and I've always loved it more than what the stores do. She used beef, and I think that holds together better.

It makes for great sandwich fillings with lettuce and mustard (no donair sauce) too.

Wine bars in Singapore said...

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