Cevapcici: what they are and how to prepare them at home – Italian Cuisine

Cevapcici: what they are and how to prepare them at home


If you want a different idea for the summer barbecue, try this succulent recipe from Eastern Europe

They are known throughout eastern Italy, especially in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Spicy and very tasty, they can be a second, a single dish or even a side dish. We are talking about the cevapcici (in the original language ćevapčići should be written): minced meatballs typical of the Balkan cuisine and originating from Bosnia.

They could be comparable to small sausages for consistency and flavor, but they are much more spicy. Cevapcici are made with meat from beef is lamb finely chopped and then seasoned with salt, spices and aromas.

I am one of the street foods for excellence throughout Eastern Europe: meatballs from the cylindrical form about 10 centimeters long and quite thin, even if on some tables you can also see rounded ones. They should be eaten absolutely cooked, usually at barbecue, grilled or grilled but if you prepare them at home you can also use one cooking pan anti-adherent.

The origins of cevapcici

The name cevapcici derives from the Persian word kebab and the Slavic diminutive word -cici. Little ones kebab therefore, precisely because with the famous Arab dish they share the composition and the spiciness of the meat. It seems that they appeared on the Balkan tables for the first time in 1860 in Belgrade and that they quickly spread throughout the former Yugoslavia, Austria and the nearby Italian provinces of Gorizia, Udine and Trieste.

How to serve cevapcici

These spicy meatballs are usually served accompanied with onion, especially the white one, finely diced or rings. They can be seasoned with ajvar, typical very spicy Balkan sauce made from ground red peppers and spices or with kajmak, Bosnian dairy product, a soft and slightly acid spreadable cheese that goes perfectly with the strong and spicy flavor of cevapcici.

They can be too floured and then browned in a pan with oil or butter and in this case, usually, they are accompanied by a slice of cheese to melt. As street food they are served inside the Somun, The typical Bosnian round bread with a diameter of about 20 cm and a thickness of about 1 cm.

The original recipe

Preparing cevapcici at home is not difficult at all ingredients they are simple to find and also very cheap. You will need:

400 g of ground beef
150g of minced lamb meat
2 white onions
2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of cumin
half chopped garlic up (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper q.b.

Finely chop the onion and add it to the minced meat in a large bowl. Add salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic and cumin and knead the meat for at least 5 minutes to obtain a homogeneous and soft mixture. At this point, cover the container with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest in the fridge for an hour, so that the meat is well seasoned. To form cevapcici, grease your hands with a little oil and make some cylindrical balls about 10 cm long and not too wide (maximum 2 cm). As mentioned, you can cook them on the barbecue, on the grill, on the grill or in a pan. Serve them, if you do not find the typical Bosnian bread, with fairly soft rolls and eat them when they are still hot.

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