Doner kebab from leg of lamb

Lamb is a common thing on our barbecue. And we miss it on a lot of other bbq parties.

They eat lamb a lot in the southern parts of Europe and Northern Africa. Doner Kebab is a well-known dish. We are going to make Doner Kebab from a leg of lamb. And then medium rare like a leg of lamb should be eaten.

fresh leg of lambThis is a leg of lamb with bone. A beautiful lean piece of lamb that you have to eat medium-rare. You should immediately forget the myth that the bone in the meat provides extra flavor. The connective tissue that surrounds the bone stops any flavor that the bone could give to the meat.

And the bone marrow in the bone that is the really tasty stuff does not penetrate the bone that easily. You should cook the bone for that, and this leg of lamb is not going to get that hot.

We remove thick layers of fat and membranes from the leg of lamb. This only stops the dry-rub from adhering to the meat.

leg of lamb with dry rubThen we coat the meat with a little olive oil and sprinkle it with a thick layer of dry-rub. You could also use mustard, which makes for a darker exterior. Or hot sauce like Worcestershire or Tabasco. Only the taste of the hot sauce remains without you having to worry about the meat becoming overly spicy.

leg of lamb 55 degress celsiusThe meat is put on the barbecue with a little smoked wood. For this, you use woods that give off a mild smoke flavor such as cherry or apple. You can use heavier smoky flavors such as oak or Hickory, but then you use very little or for a short amount of time.

For a leg of lamb that you like to eat medium-rare, we always use a digital core thermometer. We cannot prepare these large pieces of meat any other way, especially with bone. We aim for a core temperature of 55°C (130F). After resting, this heats up to 57 to 59°C (135 to 138F).

To check whether the meat has the same temperature everywhere, we check in different places with a separate thermometer such as a Thermapen. Due to the size and bone in the leg, it is very well possible that the meat is not equally warm everywhere.

leg of lamb resting in tinfoilWhen the desired core temperature has been reached, we have to let the meat rest. All the moisture has been driven to the outer layer. By resting it, the juices redistribute through the meat so that you will taste the same juiciness in each slice.

turkish bread for doner kebabNow you can prepare the rest of the sandwich. We use Turkish bread. If you prefer to throw your Döner on a potato roll, you should definitely do that.

garc\licsauce with cucumberOur garlic sauce is effortless to make. The base is full-fat yogurt with grated garlic, plenty of garlic, and cucumber. Then you season it with salt and pepper.

onion tomatoe and jalapeno for doner kebabOur greens are tomato, onion, and jalapeño. Okay, only the jalapeño is green, but you know what we mean.

leg of lamb in slicesAfter resting, cut the leg of lamb parallel to the bone and perpendicular to the muscle fibers. That ensures the most tender meat. To see how the muscles run, cut a small piece of the leg.

doner kebab from leg of lambYou top the sandwich off with greens, a few nice slices of lamb, and the garlic sauce. We finish it with a good dash of sriracha. Or another hot sauce if you prefer.


  • 1.5 kilo leg of lamb (3.5 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika (pimenton)
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic granulate
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Turkish bread
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • little sriracha or other hot sauce

For the sauce

  • 200 ml of full-fat yogurt (¾ cup)
  • half cucumber
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Make the spice mix by tossing all the spices together and mixing them well.
  2. Pat the leg of lamb dry with a few sheets of kitchen paper and coat the meat with a little olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle the leg of lamb with the spice mix
  4. Let this withdraw for 45 minutes while you light the barbecue. We go for an indirect preparation at 120 ° C.
  5. Place the leg of lamb on the grill on the cool side of the grill. Place a block of smoked wood on the coals, place a thermometer in the meat and close the lid.
  6. Leave the leg of lamb to a core temperature of 55 to 60 ° C.
  7. When the core temperature has been reached, remove the leg of lamb from the grid and let it rest for half an hour, wrapped in aluminum foil.
  8. Meanwhile, make the sauce by grating the garlic and cucumber and mixing with the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Also cut the tomato, onion, and jalapeño pepper.
  10. When the leg of lamb has rested, cut the meat into half centimeter slices
  11. Cut the Turkish bread into quarters and top it with the leg of lamb, tomato, onion, and jalapeño pepper and a generous spoonful of garlic sauce. Top it off with a little sriracha.

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