Serbia is a land locked country situated in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by 8 countries; Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Nearly half of Serbia is mountainous, with the Dinaric Alps on the western border, the North Albanian Alps (Prokletija) and the Sar Mountains in the south, and the Balkan Mountains along the southeast border.
Serbia had previously been a dominant state within Yugoslavia. Serbia’s brutal war in the southern province of Kosovo, started in 1998, causing Montenegro to distance itself from Slobodan Milosevic and his Yugoslav government. On February 4, 2003, the name “Yugoslavia” passed into history, replaced by the union of “Serbia and Montenegro.” Serbia became a stand-alone sovereign republic in the summer of 2006 after Montenegro voted in a referendum for independence from the Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The two republics had been united in one form or another for nearly 90 years.
Some interesting facts:
Serbia is the largest exporter of raspberries in the world, contributing 30% to the international market.
‘Vampire’ is a Serbian word and is known the world over.
Serbia is ahead of the Swiss in clock making. They started this almost 600 years before the Swiss took over the industry.
Nikola Tesla was Serbian and there has been a museum in his name in Belgrade since 1952.
I came across many different meat dishes when researching Serbia namely; Ćufte u paradajz sosu (meatballs in tomato Sauce) , Đuveč (stewed vegetables and pork or chicken similar to pilaf) , Paprikaš (pork or chicken and pepper stew), Ćevapi u lepinji sa kajmakom (kebabs in flatbread with kaymak) and Podvarak (roast meat with Sauerkraut). I decided to cook Pljeskavica (a ground beef/pork patty).
Rating: 6/10 – I felt there was too much paprika which overpowered the flavour for me. I would halve the quantity if I made them again.
Prep time: 10 minutes + 8 hours fridge time
Cook time: 10 – 15 minutes
450g ground beef chuck
225g ground pork
225g ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sweet or hot paprika (I would use half this amount)
Mix together all ingredients until thoroughly combined and refrigerate for several hours for flavours to meld and mixture to firm.
Heat griddle pan.
Using slightly dampened hands, divide meat mixture into 6 portions.
Form into thin patties, 20 cm x 1cm, or about the size of a small dinner plate.
Pan fry pljeskavica about 5 minutes per side.