The meat, including the fat, is carefully boned and then cut into large slices about the size of a saucer. When enough of the meat is cut, it is then put into a very large basin and left to marinate for twenty-four hours in a mixture of olive oil, sliced onions, salt, tomatoes, thyme, sage, parsley, vinegar, yogurt and black pepper. Meanwhile a further six pounds or so of minced lamb is thoroughly mixed and kneaded with several eggs, salt, pepper and herbs.
The following day they start to load the heavy spit which is held upright over a large tray by a boy; a flat metal disc is fastened on to the end of the spit to hold the meat as it is loaded on and to prevent it slipping off at the other end. First, for appearances sake, a whole tomato and a green pepper are speared on the spit and pushed down to the disc end, and then a slice of meat, a slice of fat and a handful of mince; these are loaded in alternate layers until all the meat has been used up and the spit looks like an enormous sausage about three feet long and one foot in diameter. The meat is pressed down hard and the outside is trimmed off and smoothed so that it is nicely rounded and the actual layers of the meat are not visible.
The spit is then fixed in front of the braziers and slowly turned by a handle underneath it. As the outside of the döner kebab starts to cook, the chef shaves off thin strips of meat with a special knife and catches it in a little pan before it falls, and these are served to the waiting customers: in this way a fresh part is always cooking as the döner is being gradually consumed. The bits of meat are usually eaten by themselves with some bread and salad, or perhaps laid on a pide (see Pastry and Bread section, and smothered in yogurt.