The first time I ever ate lamb was in Germany. If you’ve ever been to Europe, you’ve most assuredly eaten a Doner Kebab. If you haven’t, then you need to go back to Europe to experience that deliciousness.
My first night in Germany, we were too afraid of having to speak German to go to a legit restaurant, plus we didn’t really know anything about any restaurants in the area. After wandering around the city aimlessly for a few hours late at night because we were too jeglagged to sleep, we came across a small storefront with people standing outside eating what looked like something edible wrapped in tin foil. We decided we were brave enough and hungry enough to give it a try and walked in, hoping no one would notice how obviously American and clueless we were.
A Turkish woman with overpowering eyebrows and piercing eyes stared at me from behind a countertop full of food, saying nothing. I looked up at the sign behind her and tried to decipher the offerings before the woman figured out I was a fraud. I managed to find the word Chicken on the menu and tried to pronounce it in my best German.
After three tries, I finally got her to figure out what the heck I was saying and for the rest of my time there, she realized speaking German was not my forte and resorted to pointing to various toppings and looking at me questioningly.
Finally, what seemed like an hour later, my friends and I stood out on the cobblestone street in a circle, foil wrapped Doner Kebabs in hand. After our first few bites, we all looked at each other in awe. We had just found the best thing to eat in Europe…and it only cost 2.50.
Weeks later my “Bonn Buddy” the smart, fashionable German student at the University I was attending who had been paired up with me by the foreign exchange office took me to eat what was apparently revered as the best Doner in Bonn, the city I was living in. Unfortunately, this hole in the wall only offered lamb, not chicken so I had to give in and try something different.
Honestly, I hated it. I never tried a lamb Doner again…but I never lost my love for Doners. When I returned to the US, I scoured the internet trying to find an american Doner. No luck. The closest thing I could find was a shawarma sandwich. It’s a poor substitute but it’ll do.
Naturally, when I was looking at spices while grocery shopping one day and came across a Shawarma spice mix, I had to buy it. Finally having reconciled my differences with lamb, I figured I should give it another shot in the shawarma department. This is what I came up with. They were pretty delicious. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself.
- 1 lb Ground Lamb
- 1 tbsp Shawarma Seasoning
- 1 Egg
- 1 Cup Spinach, Chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Crack the egg into a large bowl and whisk it
- Mix in ground lamb, spinach, and seasoning
- Roll into meatballs
- Place on a baking sheet
- Cook in the oven for 12 minutes
- Rotate the meatballs
- Cook for 10 more minutes