Are we sure they don’t have tailgating in Croatia?! We here at Inside Tailgating went in search of a Croatian recipe to post in honor of the darlings of the World Cup – Croatia takes on France in the final Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern – and what we discovered is ćevapčići. This traditional Croatian favorite is sausage (!!!) that combines ground beef, pork and lamb. Um, yeah! So we think this is not only the perfect meat to throw on the grill for your World Cup watch parties this Sunday but something we need to adopt for the helmet-and-shoulder variety of football tailgates this fall!
Ćevapi (pronounced che-vah-pi) or ćevapčići (che-vahp-chi-chi) is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of skinless sausage, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe (the Balkans). They are considered a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and are also common in Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, as well as in Albania, Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania.
Ćevapčići are grilled and usually served with 5–10 pieces on a plate or in a flatbread, often with chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak, ajvar, feta cheese, minced red pepper and salt.
- 1 1⁄2lbs ground pork
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 1⁄2lb ground lamb
- 1egg white
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1teaspoon salt
- 1teaspoon baking soda
- 2teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2teaspoon paprika
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 pita bread or 4 sandwich rolls/bread
- In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, ground lamb and egg white. Add the garlic, salt, baking soda, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika. Mix well using your hands.
- Form into finger length sausages about 3/4 inch thick. Arrange on a plate.
- Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for one hour or up to one day. This makes the flavors settle and the mixture will become firm.
- Preheat the grill, medium-low heat. Lightly oil the grilling surface.
- Grill ćevapčići until cooked through, turning as needed. The grilling usually takes about 30 minutes.
- Serve in warmed or grilled pita bread, white bread or rolls on a bed of chopped onions, with your choice of toppings such as kajmak, sour cream, cottage cheese, fresh peppers, ajvar or tomatoes.