Cevapcici, easy to make sausages
Cevapcici (che-vup-chi-chi) are common on cafe menus throughout the Balkans and a must at home barbeques. In Australia they are more widely known as “skinless sausages” and mostly bought from butchers. I find the bought ones lack the punchy original flavours of garlic, sweet paprika and onion, so I have always made them at home. Cevapcici are so easy to make but finding a recipe can be daunting as there is so much regional variation, different family traditions and often the home cevapcici master doesn’t measure ingredients. My cevapcici have loads of sweet Hungarian paprika and garlic and sometimes I even add a touch of smoked pimenton. Not sure what my father would have thought of that but I reckon it adds a nice smokey touch. If you are a purist and grill with charcoal then there might be enough smokey flavour but I’m a Weber on the balcony urbanite, so it works a treat.
Making cevapcici is very much a hands on affair; you have to knead the mix with your hands well to amalgamate the meat with the seasoning and then roll the sausages between your hands. The mixing not only helps to keep everything together but blends the paprika into the pork fat so it doesn’t burn and become bitter when grilled.
makes 24 sausages
- 300 g minced pork (not too lean)
- 300 g minced beef
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/1/2 tsp salt
- 3 dessert spoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp smoked pimenton (optional)
Mix the ingredients together and knead well by hand for 5 minutes. Test cook a little piece to check the seasoning suits your taste. Rest the mix in the fridge for an hour or more and then shape into sausages. BBQ on medium to high heat until nicely browned but still juicy inside. Serve with a simple green salad, pepper paste (Ajvar) and potatoes (salad, chips or slow roasted with onion).