My husband and I like to add a local flair to our donairs, and often purchase fresh naan bread from one of the many Indian restaurants in our area to use instead of pita. Don't worry, though, fresh bread isn't necessary for this recipe. It's the sweet and savoury combination of the sauce and meat that make the dish.
Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dashs-donair/
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground oregano
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I do less than half of this for my boys)
2 lbs ground beef
mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 onion, sliced
donair sauce (see below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, oregano, flour, black pepper, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Place the ground beef in a large bowl, and use your hands to mix in the spice mixture. If you want the smooth texture of meat that you see in a real donair shop, you must do this in a steel mixing bowl and on a sturdy surface. Pick up the meat, and throw it down with force about 20 times, kneading it after each throw (process it in small amounts in a food processor). This also helps the meat hold together better when you slice it. Form the meat into three oblong loaves, and place it on a broiler pan or baking sheet lined with tin foil.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, turning the loaf over about half way through. At this point the meat will not look very attractive, but it will look like authentic donair meat as soon as you slice it thin. It is easier to slice if you let it chill for a few hours. Then, fry up the onions in a skillet with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Once they start to soften, add the meat slices and brown on medium-high. Serve warm in pita bread, topped with cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion.
2/3 cup canned evaporated milk*
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup white vinegar
Whisk together evaporated milk, sugar, and garlic powder until sugar is dissolved. Add vinegar and give it three to four turns around the bowl. The quicker you add the vinegar, and the less you mix, the thicker the sauce will be. Refrigerate for an hour before use. Try not to stir it too much as it is served.
*For frugal-minded folks: I have attempted this sauce with an evaporated milk substitute such as this one (actually I used 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup milk powder). It did work, but it was prone to separation, and had a thinner consistency than using the canned milk. I would only recommend it if you are in a real pinch and have no evaporated milk. I suspect that a substitution such as this one would work better in a recipe for baked goods.