A sweet, tangy, garlicky dipping sauce that’s fit for a king! With three very simple ingredients, Newfoundland Donair Sauce is able to transform your favourite dippers into a glorious, tantalizing, taste adventure!
Growing up in Newfoundland, a donair has always been a part of my life. In trying to explain what it is to you, Dear Reader, a guick internet search found that a donair is a wrap-like dish that consists of a pita with shredded spiced beef cooked on a spit than covered in sweet sauce. The pita is then topped with tomatoes and onions.
There are people out there who are extremely serious about what a donair actually is and where it originated, but I’m not here to debate that. You call it what you want – a donair, a donar, a gyro, etc. Whatever you choose to call it or however you decide to eat it, is up to you. However, I strongly suggest you add this Newfoundland Donair Sauce to yours – really, you won’t regret it!
I don’t make donairs at home, but McKenna and I are pizza crust dippers. We love to dip the crust of a thick-crust pizza into a dipping sauce, and this particular sauce is our favourite.
I must make mention that King of Donair, a restaurant chain founded in the early 1970s in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which serves a wide range of food, including the popular donair, claims to have invented the Maritime donair — a variation on the traditional Middle Eastern doner kebab in 1973.
Maritime donairs are characterized by their distinctive sauce, a sweeter version of a traditional garlic sauce, made from condensed milk, sugar, garlic or garlic powder, and white vinegar. Traditional garlic sauce is usually made with yogurt or mayonnaise instead of condensed milk and vinegar; it also has lemon juice rather than sugar. Donair sauce is a popular dipping sauce for garlic fingers (another regional dish).
I’m calling my recipe Newfoundland Donair Sauce, because that was where I first tasted it, and the version I ate way back then, and even now, is always homemade. So, there you have it! A little history lesson and an introduction to the beginnings of this humble sauce.
Now, trust me on this, Dear Reader, Newfoundland Donair Sauce is not at all limited to donairs, or pizza crust. You should try it with garlic fingers, bread sticks, or even lightly drizzled onto grilled chicken or beef kebabs. You’ll most certainly not regret it!
Newfoundland Donair Sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 14 ounces canned condensed milk
Pour the condensed milk from the can into a bowl. Add the garlic powder and mix well to fully incorporate.
Next, add the vinegar and stir just a few times to blend the vinegar into the mixture. Don’t over mix.
Transfer the sauce to a mason jar and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.