Croatian Ćevapčići

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Day 4: Off to the Balkans

Day 4 of the World Cup of BBQ sees us move to back to Europe and over to the Balkans, specifically to Croatia. I decided to cook Ćevapčići (or Cevapi). There are many different versions of this in that region, but this recipe uses Beef, Lamb and Pork.

Cevapi is often served with Flatbreads and Ajvar, which is an Aubergine and Red Pepper relish /sauce.

Preparation and the Cook

I made these in the morning so the combined ingredients could infuse for around 8 hours. Once shaped I wrapped them tightly in clingfilm and placed them in the fridge until I was ready to cook.

I lit the BBQ early afternoon, and grilled the Aubergine and Red Peppers, before making the Ajvar.

Finally, I prepared the dough for the flatbreads before cracking on with the cooking of the Ćevapčići.

Once again, the Aldi Kamado was the BBQ of choice. With this cook, I used the deflector plate and got the temperature of the Kamado up to around 200°C before starting to cook the Ćevapčići. Turning them regularly I cooked them for around 20 minutes until they probed at 65°C.

After I took the Ćevapčići off and wrapped them in foil to rest, and then cooked the flatbreads on the BBQ and then plating. I spread some Ajvar on the Flatbread, added some Lambs Lettuce and the Ćevapčići, before finishing with the sliced onions.

The Verdict

This was my favourite cook of the World Cup of BBQ so far. I used beef mince from Meat Matters Ltd, which is amazing. It really helped the Ćevapčići come out lovely and juicy. No surprise, the Ćevapčići went really well with the Ajvar, served on the flatbread! So good!

Croatian Ćevapčići

There are lots of variations for Cevapi in the Balkan region but this one from Croatia uses Beef, Lamb and Pork. Utterly delicious!
Servings 2 people
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

For the Ćevapčići

  • 300 g Beef Mince
  • 150 g Lamb Mince
  • 150 g Pork Mince
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Onion (sliced)

For the Ajvar

  • 12 Small Sweet Red Peppers
  • 1 Aubergine
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Aleppo Pepper

Instructions

For the Ćevapčići

  • In a large bowl, Beef, Pork and Lamb. Add the Garlic, Salt, Baking Soda, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Smoked Paprika and mix well.
  • Form into a sausage shape (I actually made mine a little fat) then wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
    Uncooked Cevapi
  • Prepare your BBQ, aiming for a temperature of 180-200°C. I used a deflector plate but if you are using a Kettle BBQ set it up with 2 cooking zones, starting the Ćevapčići on the indirect area. You'll want to finish it on the direct area to give it some char.
  • Turn frequently and when the internal temperature reached 65°C, remove from the BBQ and wrap in foil.
  • Cook the flatbreads, and then spread the flatbread with the Ajvar. Place the Ćevapčići on the flatbreads and then sprinkle over some of the Onion.
    Croatian Cevapi

For the Ajvar

  • Start by grilling the Red Peppers and the Aubergine. Get the BBQ to 180-200°C and cook the peppers for around 20 minutes (turning every 5 minutes), and the Aubergine for around 30 minutes.
    Grilling Red Pepper and Aubergine
  • Place the Peppers in a food bag and leave for 10 minutes – this will help you remove the skin. Scoop out the flesh from the Aubergine and discard the skin.
  • In a food processor, combine the Red Pepper and Aubergine with the remaining ingredients. Pulse until everything blended together.
  • You can then place this in the fridge until you are ready to use it or use it immediately. If you would prefer you can also warm up the Ajvar again.

Notes

Tip: To make the onions less pungent, soak the onions in the water for ten or so minutes, and you’ll have remarkably less intense onions.
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: European
Keyword: Ajvar, Cevapi, Croatia, Flatbread, World Cup, World Cup Cooks, World Cup of BBQ, World Cup of BBQ 2022

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