I had a mutton shoulder and I wanted to prepare it in a way which imitated to some point doner kebab, so the meat was sliced into thin pieces and fried on a pan. However it was a bit tough.

I'd marinaded the meat for 24h in sour milk and spices - it didn't help much.

The meat wasn't low-quality and it tasted very well, the only issue was it wasn't tender. Any ideas what to do about that?

  • 1
    Maybe Mutton is like cooking squirrel? to cook squirrel, you put the squirrel in a pot of boiling water along with a baseball-size rock. when the rock is tender, the squirrel is ready
    – rbp
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 20:47
  • Please look at this answer, which outlines a very good way to cook very good Döner Kebab meat at home.
    – Theorian
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 9:35

3 Answers 3


Doner kebab is A) not a single joint of meat and B) cooked in slices, so attempting to get anything similar with the technique you described is a triumph of optimism over reality I'm afraid.

As Gary suggests, lamb/mutton shoulder requires long, slow cooking, but this will not yield a doner-like result in terms of texture. I would rub the lamb with plenty of spices, cumin, coriander, garlic etc and olive oil. Make small cuts in the meat and really massage the spices in. Place the lamb in a roasting tin and cover with foil.

Get the oven as hot as it will go, put the lamb in, and turn it down to 150C. Cook for 4 hours and the meat will fall off the bone. Pull to shreds and serve in pitta breads with yoghurt, salad, onions and chilli sauce. Voila!

  • +1 good point I forgot to mention - doner 'logs' are shredded lamb offcuts reformed back into those huge cylinders. Generally they're better quality meat than you might expect but it does mean the texture is pretty hard to recreate at home. You can get the flavours right with a spicing combination like you mention though.
    – Gary
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 20:28
  • Thanks. I'm not really trying to make doner kebab, definitely not it terms of texture. Just wanted to be close in terms of taste. Btw: would such a long cooking work even if I have small piece of mutton, say 0,75kg? Wouldn't the meat become dry? Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 22:57
  • 1
    The foil lid should keep it moist, but you could probably take it down to 3 hours - a bit of experimentation is probably in order. The other thing I should mention is that you should take the meat out of the fridge an hour before you cook it. Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 9:11
  • It worked :) A bit less than 3 hours was enough for such a small piece of meat - it was tender indeed. Thanks! Commented Mar 27, 2011 at 20:21
  • Welcome, glad it turned out well. Commented Mar 27, 2011 at 20:43

Lamb shoulder requires only one thing - time.

The marinade would work wonders I'm sure. However lamb shoulder needs a long slow cook. I would roast it in one piece then carve it for serving. I suggest two methods:

  • Slow roast. Perhaps a 150C heat, maybe 5 - 6 hours. It's ready when you can pinch the meat off the bone between finger and thumb. Make sure you allow it to rest for a good hour.
  • Part-braise. A Greek family taught me a lovely recipe which involves using your spices slackened down with enough water to cover the base of your roasting dish, then continually basting the lamb as you go along. Roast in about a 170C oven for about 2 hours, covering with foil for the first hour to build up steam.

Get a pressure cooker and make 'wet' dishes - stews, curries, pie-fillings. It will turn your mutton into a soft, melting, velvety delight.

A trick from Indian cookery is to marinade in yoghurt and lemon juice prior to cooking. The longer the better.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.