Cevapcici are a skinless, Eastern European sausage that can differ in size and ingredients depending on what region you are from. Coming from a Croatian background I love my Cevapcici but unfortunately wasn’t a meat eater when I was growing up so only in later years have I fully embraced them. Most Cevapcici are made from pork and beef however, according to my parents my Baba made the best Cevapcici which were made with minced veal and a bit of pork – and most probably with the inclusion of Vegeta - the Croatian stock powder that should be added to basically anything as it boosts the flavour of most dishes.
I spent most of this weekend making and eating Cevapcici’s and after trying both pork and beef and pork and veal varieties – the veal version is definitely my favourite but it’s up to you which way you go.
You can eat Cevapcici plain with some tomato sauce which most Australians do at a BBQ or you can use ajvar which is another product of the Balkan region that seems to differ depending on where you are from. Ajvar is a roasted eggplant and capsicum relish that can be served with any grilled meat. You can find the recipe here.
Rather than eating the Cevapcici on their own I added, ajvar, sour cream with sweet paprika, Spanish onion and parsley wrapped in warmed pita bread – it was delicious – a Croatian Kebab you could say.
Cevapcici with ajvar, sour cream and spanish onion wrapped in pita
- Makes about 3 oven trays
- Start recipe a day before
700g veal mince – substitute for beef if you wish
300g pork mince
1 medium brown onion – grated
3 garlic cloves – crushed
1 tsp Vegeta
1 tsp Bi Carb Soda
1 tsp cayenne pepper – or as much as you like if you want your Cevapcici hotter
2 tsp sweet paprika
100ml sparkling water – or just enough so you have a soft paste
1 egg – lightly beaten
1 tsp of each salt and pepper
Ajvar – see recipe
sour cream to serve plus a sprinkle of sweet paprika mixed in
1 Spanish onion – sliced thinly
1 tbs chopped parsley
large pita bread
1. Place the veal, pork, onion, garlic, Vegeta, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper plus Bi Carb Soda in a large stainless steel bowl and using your hands knead the mixture until it is well combined.
2. Slowly knead in a small amount of the sparkling water and egg so the mixture is paste like – be careful with the water as you may not need it all so add slowly!!
3. Using your hands, shape the mixture into approximately 10cm long by 2-3cm wide sausages and put on a lined oven tray. Once on the tray – run your thumb and index finger along both sides of the sausage making them a nice shape and not blob like. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight so they can set.
4. About 10 minutes before cooking – remove the tray from the fridge. Heat a fry pan or BBQ and using olive oil cook the Cevapcici in batches over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes – turning often to ensure all sides are cooked.
To Serve: Warm pita bread quickly (1 minute) so it is still soft on a fry pan or grill plate.
Spread half the pita with ajvar then place the Cevapcici on top – you can fit about 4 or 5 on the bread. Top with sour cream that has had a sprinkle of sweet paprika folded through it then add thinly sliced Spanish onion and some parsley. Fold the pita up and enjoy!