Day 13 and a Visit to Europe
Cevapi is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of skinless sausage, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe (the Balkans). They are considered a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and are also common in Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Slovenia, as well as in Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Cevapi has its origins in the Balkans during the Ottoman period and represents a regional specialty similar to the köfte kebab.
For this cook, I initially cooked the peppers, garlic, and aubergine on the BBQ. These form the main ingredients of the ajvar. Once I took them off and whilst they were cooling, I made the cevapi. I put the cevapi in the fridge, by which time the vegetables had cooled enough to start making the ajvar, and again put it in the fridge until I was ready to cook the cevapi.
The cevapi sat in the fridge for about 5 hours. an hour before I was ready to cook I took them out of the fridge. I set my BBQ up for indirect cooking and just before adding the cevapi to the grill I added 2 oak wood chunks. I cooked for 20 minutes in total turning halfway through. At the end of the cook, I moved them to the direct zone for around 2 minutes each side.
I enjoyed cooking these and making the ajvar. The ajvar had great flavour but the cevapi was a little bland. I think if I try these again I would add a little more paprika and potentially try to make a little thinner.
BBQ Cevapi with ajvar
- Prep Time30 min
- Cook Time1 hr 5 min
- Total Time1 hr 35 min
- Serving Size3
For the Cevapi and Ajvar
- 400g Minced Beef
- 200g Minced Pork
- 1 Small Bulb of Garlic, plus 4 cloves
- 2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika
- 1 large Free-range Egg
- 75ml Sparkling Water
- Olive Oil
- 3 Red Peppers
- 2 Aubergines
- 1 Bunch of fresh Flat-leaf Parsley
- 2 Lemons
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Light your BBQ to cook directly and add the peppers, aubergine, and garlic to the grill. I cooked the peppers and aubergine directly for around 40 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes. I cooked the garlic on the indirect zone of the BBQ.
Place the charred peppers and aubergines in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave for 20 minutes, to steam off the skins. Once they’ve cooled slightly, pull off and discard the skins, seeds and stalks and chop the flesh on a board.
Squeeze out the garlic from 6 of the roasted cloves and add it to the veg along with most of the parsley, then chop it all together
Keep chopping everything together, season with sea salt and black pepper, squeeze over the juice of 1 of the lemons and drizzle over a good lug of oil. Adjust the seasoning to taste, then set aside.
About an hour before you want to start cooking take your Cevapi out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Light your BBQ and set up a direct and indirect zone. When your BBQ is at around 200°C add a wood chunk, and place the Cevapi in the indirect area of the BBQ.
You need to cook them for around 20 minutes (or until the temperature reaches 65-70°C). I cooked for 10 minutes and then turned over. Once they hit around 65°C give them a couple of minutes each side on the direct area of the grill.
Remove from the BBQ and warm up your flatbreads. Spread the ajvar on the flatbread, and then sit the cevapi on top. I also added some salad.