Cevapcici are tasty, fun to eat and can be served in many different ways. They found their way into the Balkan culture through the Ottoman Empire many years ago. The Ottoman Empire embraced them from the Arabic and Persian cultures who still serve kebabs in many different ways.
There are different versions of Cevapcici depending on your Balkan heritage. Some people use beef, lamb, pork or a combination of both beef and lamb or pork and beef.
My heritage is Croation and my mother used pork and beef or just pork. This is my mother’s recipe that I would like to share with you.
Cevapcici are much loved and enjoyed by the Balkan people.
1kg mince pork (not lean)
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (crushed or finely chopped)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
pinch of chilli powder (or two)
salt and pepper to taste
Preparation Time: 20 minutes (2 hours resting time in the fridge)
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: Approximately 22 Cevapcici
Serves: 4-6 people
In a large bowl combine the mince meat, onion, garlic, parsley, baking soda, paprika, chilli powder, egg, salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients until well combined.
Prepare a tray lined with baking paper. Take a handful of mixture and roll into a sausage shape the size of your index finger. Place the Cevapi on the tray and repeat the process until finished.
Place in the fridge for up to 2 hours before grilling. Grill for approximately 8 minutes turning occasionally to ensure that the Cevapi are cooked evenly.
Cevapi can be prepared 24 hours ahead and stored in an airtight container or well covered on a tray with aluminium foil and refrigerated until ready to be grilled.
On this occasion I used a griddle pan lightly brushed with oil. They can also be cooked in a frying pan with a little oil. My all time favourite is when they are cooked on a BBQ.
Cevapi can be served as a starter, snack or as part of a main course. European style slaw, onion and Ajvar (vegetable relish) are a wonderful accompaniment to Cevapcici.
I have had the pleasure of eating Cevapi for many years, I hope you embrace them as well.