Montenegro – Crna Gora or Black Mountain, allegedly named by the Venetians when they saw the pine forests on Mount Lovćen which were apparently so dense that from far away the mountain looked black. 60 percent of the country is more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) high, with the tallest peak, Zla Kolata, reaching to 2,534 metres (8,314 ft) which is located on the border of Montenegro and Albania. It became an independent nation in 2006, after 55% voted for independence in a referendum.
In Montenegro, ‘Krvna Osveta’ (blood feud) is a law of vendetta which has been practised since medieval times and still occurs today. It is an oath of revenge for vendetta, meaning that a person must take revenge on whoever killed his relative by killing the murderer or one of the murderer’s close relatives.
Montenegro is considered one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations with 1.7 million visitors in 2015. National Geographic Traveler features Montenegro among the “50 Places of a Lifetime”. It has a coastline of 293 km with over 120 beaches and 3 Unesco world heritage sites; the Historical Region of Kotor, Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards and Durmitor National Park.
Traditional Montenegrin cuisine has influences from Italian, Turkey, Serbia and Croatia. Popular dishes include Jagnjeća Supa (Lamb broth), Brav u miljeku (lamb cooked in milk), Čorbast Pasulj (bean stew with smoked ribs), Priganice (fritters or flat doughnuts) and Sac (meat slow roasted in ashes under an iron dome). I opted to cook Balšica tava (Veal in Royal Sauce). Randomly, we had this for breakfast, I’m not entirely sure why we thought it would be a good idea, perhaps because it has eggs in it and some recipes suggested it was like an omelette! Had we walked some of the Montenegrin mountains and worked up an appetite, I think this dish would be a pleasant reward, however the watery texture wasn’t really our cup of tea.
Serves: 1 as a main, 2 as a light snack
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
50g carrot, chopped
50g onion, chopped
160g veal fillet
30g. butter, melted
salt, to taste
100ml sour cream
100ml whole milk
fresh parsley, chopped finely
Pre heat the oven to 200°C
Cut the veal into approximately 50g chunks, add to a saucepan along with the vegetables and bayleaf
Cover the contents of the pan with water and add 1/2 tsp salt
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cook for about 15 minutes
Drain through a sieve, then place in a small oven proof pan and drizzle the melted butter over the top
Place in the oven and roast for about 8 minutes
Meanwhile, make the “royal sauce” by whisking together the eggs, milk and cream
Pour over the meat, until completely covered then return to the oven and cook for 7 minutes
Finish it under the grill for a few minutes to give it colour
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve