Croatian Recipe: Rudarska Greblica
St. Barbara Mine is one of Europe’s oldest copper and iron mines, and this mine has significant importance for this recipe. Rudarska Greblica was well known to be one of the favorite foods of the miners and, in fact, was sometimes the only meal for the day.
The name comes from “greblica,” which was a wooden tool used to spread the ashes in a bread oven.
The original version of this delicious dish was made with walnuts and cheese, but then the creative women started to add other ingredients with the cheese. Favorites include spinach, chard, nettle, scallions, yellow carrot, and so on, but no matter what combination is used, this dish must end up being savory.
Two essential rules must be mentioned when making Greblica:
- The dough should not be thick, nor should much yeast be added
- The edges must be finished upwards and should be pressed so that the stuffing does not leak during baking
If we compare the recipes from the 16th-18th centuries with those from the modern-day, we can see a big difference in how the dish now looks compared to then. That’s because earlier, the dough would have been thicker – with much less filling, due to the fact that flour was cheaper and easier to obtain, while the cheese would have been costly to purchase.
Rudarska Greblica is recognized as a culinary specialty, and that is why since 1985, the town of Rude has been hosting an event called “Dani Rudarske greblice” organized by the local Folklore Society.
In recent years, there is even a competition for selecting the best Greblica, where the inhabitants of Rude bring their Greblica to the expert jury.
Also, it is very important to mention that since 2007, Rudarska greblica has been included in the list of protected assets of Croatian intangible heritage. The process of preparing the greblica has been protected by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.
Step By Step Photos Of How To Make Rudarska Greblica
Here is how to make Croatian Rudarska Greblica. A recipe that dates back to the old mining days in Rude, near Samobor, Croatia.
For The Dough
- 400 g flour (3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon of lard (or 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil)
- 200 ml sour cream (3/4 cup)
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- A pinch of dry activated yeast
For The Filling
- 500 g cottage cheese (2 1/4 cups)
- 1 egg white
- 2 whole eggs
- Pinch of salt
- 200 g spinach (6.9 oz)
We start the recipe with making the dough.
- To the flour, add salt and yeast. Usually, Rudarska Greblica is made with fresh yeast, but as I was unable to find any in the shops I used the dry yeast, and it worked out very well
- Add the egg yolk and mix
- Add the lard (if you don't have the lard, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil now and add in a few more drops later if needed), sour cream and knead into a dough
- Cover the dough with a pot and leave it to rest for at least one hour
While the dough is resting, we will make the stuffing.
- Start with chopping the spinach into small pieces, add some salt to it and transfer it to a kitchen towel
- Squeeze it very well to extract the liquid from the spinach. If you do not do this, the dough will be very soggy
- Add the spinach to a bowl, along with the cheese, one egg white, and one whole egg. Add in a pinch of salt, mix it again
Now you are ready for stretching the dough
- Roll out the dough to be double the size of the baking tray you'll use. It should be approximately 0,5 cm thin
- Transfer the dough to a greased or paper-lined baking tray. Place all of the mixture onto the dough lining the baking tray, and then fold the other half of the dough over it
- Bend the edges up and over, and press closed so that the filling does not leak out during baking
- Coat with 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream
- Bake the greblica for approx 20-25 minutes at 200 degrees celsius, until it is nicely golden
- Let it rest for ten minutes and serve
I like this kind of dish served with a refrigerated yogurt as you can see on the photos in the blog post, but I'll leave that up to you decide