Slovakia

Slovakia, a landlocked country in Central Europe, noted for the Carpathian mountains which cover most of the northern half of the country. Under the mountains are hundreds of caves, five of which are Unesco world heritage sites. There are around 31,000 miles of rivers in the Slovak territory.

Following WWI the Slovaks joined the Czechs to form Czechoslovakia and became an independent state allied with Nazi Germany in 1939. After WWII, it came under communist rule, until the ‘Velvet Revolution’ ended communist party rule in 1989. Slovakia became independent on 1 January 1993 after Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It has been a NATO and EU member since 2004.

Slovakia has some interesting guinness world records including; the highest score in an ice hockey match (they beat Bulgaria 82-0 in 2008), the most socks put on one foot in one minute (Pavol Durdik achieved 48 in 2015) and the longest career as a conductor is held by Slovakian Viliam Karmazin at 76 years.

Slovakian cuisine has influences from it’s bordering countries Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Ukraine and Poland with meat featuring highly. Some traditional dishes include bryndzové halušky (cheese and potato dumplings), Lokše (pancakes), Kapustnica (soup made from sauerkraut and sausage). I opted to cook Slovak Morcacie Plnene Prsia (stuffed turkey breast) which was relatively easy to make and we really enjoyed it.

Rating: 9/10

Serves: 2
Prep time: 30 mins + 2 hours chill time
Cook time: 1 hour

1 large turkey breast (approx 450g is plenty enough for 2)
3 slices cheese
3 slices cooked ham (not too thick)
8 asparagus stalks
Salt & white pepper
1 apple
Butter for frying

Tenderise the Turkey breast by putting it in between clingfilm and bashing lightly with a rolling pin to flatten out.
Sprinkle with salt and white pepper.
Place a slice of ham, cheese, and several asparagus stalks across the top of the turkey.
Roll up the turkey, using the cling film to keep it tightly secured, twist the ends to seal. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
Use string to tie up the turkey breast to keep the stuffing in (you can use tooth picks if you find this easier)
Heat a knob of butter in an oven proof pan over a medium heat and place the turkey roll in the pan, browning it on each side (takes about 5 mins)
Place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
While this is cooking, peel an apple and grate it.
After 30 minutes cooking, sprinkle the shredded apple on top and put the turkey back in the oven for a further 30 minutes.
Once cooked remove it from the pan and let it rest for a minute or two before slicing it into four.
Serve with mash and green beans.

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