Friday, May 20, 2011

Pljeskavica or Cevapcici

Pljeskavica (pl-yes-ka-vee-tsa) and cevapcici (che-vahp-chee-chee) are traditional and (understandably) well-loved foods in the Balkans, including Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and others.  In essence, they are their version of hamburgers (or hamburger-sticks.)  They are nearly as easy to make, but much tastier than their American counterparts.  They are best if started early in the day, or even the day before, they are planned to be cooked; this allows time for the flavors to blend together.  They can be cooked in almost any manner, including pan-frying, broiling (in the oven), or grilling.  My personal preference is far and away for grilling.


  • Meat (traditionally 1/3 lamb, 1/3 pork, 1/3 beef, but you can use whatever you've got.)  
  • Onion, very finely chopped (about 1/2 sm onion per pound of meat total)  
  • Garlic (about 1 clove per pound, give or take)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika (approx. a Tbs per pound)  If it's sweet paprika, add a dash of cayenne.  
  • (optional)Cavender's Greek Seasoning

  1. Mix it all together.  
  2. Chill for an hour or two in the fridge.    
  3. For cevapcici, roll it into 'sticks', about an inch in diameter by about 4 inches; for pljeskavica, form it into big, flat hamburger patties (6-9 inches diameter, 1/2 inch thick).  It may help to rinse your hands and leave them wet in between rolls/patties, as they can be very sticky, especially if lamb is used.
  4. Chill again for an hour or two if possible, but not absolutely necessary.  
  5. Grill, pan-fry or broil, until the inside is just barely not pink anymore.
  6. Commonly served with bread and Slovenian potato salad (recipe about halfway down the page), which is likewise very unlike its American counterpart.


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