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How To Make Sarajevski Ćevapi (Skinless Sausages From Sarajevo)
The most famous dish from Bosnia, alongside burek, is definitely ćevapi. Small skinless minced meat sausage-shaped rolls served with somun, a kind of pita bread, lots of diced onions, and kajmak – a dairy product that is easiest to describe as fermented cheese.
When it comes to dishes like this, it’s hard to write a recipe that everyone would be happy and satisfied with as there are so many variations of variations…
The below recipe is my version of ćevapi; these are tastiest for me and the people around me who eat them with much pleasure.
At this link, I have my best bread recipe to match. This flatbread type can be easily prepared in the classical oven, so don’t hesitate to make it at home – far better than store-bought bread.
The history of ćevapi begins with the Ottoman Empire, which had a huge influence on our gastronomy in the Balkan region. There are several towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are very famous for their recipes. Look out for sarajevski, banjalučki or travnički ćevapi. The difference in the names of the ćevapi is due to the composition:
- Travnik (travnički): 3-4 types of meat (a mix of beef, veal, sheep, or lamb)
- Sarajevo (sarajevski): beef and lamb meat
- Banja Luka (banjalučki): beef meat formed in tiles made out of 5 ćevapi
For me, the secret of good ćevap is in simplicity. That simplicity is contained in meat, garlic, salt, and pepper. Though other great cevapi recipes also have other ingredients such as baking soda (to help up the meat fermentation), yellow onion, sparkling water, powdered paprika…that’s all up to you and your choice.
That said, here is how I make them. Enjoy!
A super simple ćevapi recipe that will make everyone happy - especially the kids!
- 1.5 kg of beef. The best is a mix of chuck steak, brisket, and short ribs in a 2:2:1 ratio. Though, any quality beef will suit. (3.3 lbs)
- 500g lamb
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 20g salt (3.5 teaspoons)
- Cut all of the meat into small cubes and season with salt and minced garlic. Place it in the fridge for 24 hours. (If you buy the meat pre-minced, you can add the garlic and salt and move to step 3 after 8 hours)
- Remove from the fridge and mince it two times, so that meat becomes compact
- Shape the ćevapi. I like to shape them using my hands but you can also use a machine or even a piping bag. If using a piping bag just cut off the meat with a knife when you press out the preferred size
- Cook the ćevapi. When it comes to cooking them, a high temperature and constant turning is the key to success! For the best result, I suggest making fire out of wooden charcoal as you will have a high and constant temperature. Though, you can grill them on the cooktop in your kitchen too. The ćevapi are done when they are browned on the outside and slightly pink on the inside