Lately I have been trying my hand at making sausage.  A few weeks back I helped my Kume make sausage from some fresh, free pork he had.  So this past Saturday myself, Kume, and a close friend (who happens to be a butcher’s kid) got together to make cevapcici.  I wrote an entry about the first go round called “2010 a sausage odyssey”,  (check it out here https://promajaneck.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/2010-a-sausage-odyssey/

Cevapcici is a type of sausage that the Serbs like.  It is made from lamb, pork, and beef, garlic, paprika and some other spices, and it has no casing.  It is held together by either egg or bread crumbs.    Making them is really easy,  really, all you need to do is put the few ingredients in a bowl, mix it by hand, and mold the links by rolling them, kind of like a kid with play dough.  The trick/secret is in finding the right combination of ingredients.  There are recipes written for cevapi, but they are merely a suggestion.  I have been told that several times in the last week or so.  It seems that everyone has a recipe or an opinion on the best way to make cevapi.  

Ingredients: pork fat, lamb, pork, and beef

On batch #1  I used more pork than anything else, then lamb and finally beef.  Generous amounts of garlic and grated onion, salt and pepper, and hot paprika were added.  I didn’t measure anything because I don’t believe in measuring in the kitchen, it’s all to taste.  So we mixed up the ingredients by hand and cooked up a test sausage.  It needed more salt, always better to have to ADD salt.  And it also needed more fat.  There is nothing worse than a dry mealy sausage.  Grant and I added more pork fat until Kume said stop, then we put in more just to be safe.  That did the trick, it really added to the flavor.    Batch #2 was essentially the same, but I had lamb to get rid of so there was more in this batch.  Personally I think that good lamb is the key to cevapi.  The first one I ever had was so strong and gamey with lamb it was like a punch in the face, but I have never forgotten the flavor.   In making this batch though we smartened up.  Rather than hand-roll 50 sausages we used the press that Grant has.  It was much easier and the sausages looked much better, nice and round. 

Pressed cevapi

 All in all I think I got a good start, but there is a long way to go.  Finding the right balance of meat and spice will take a long time.  Kume told me that he knows people who have been trying for 15 years.  I’ll keep at it though because when I get, I got it.  The Serbs I know are very particular about their cevapi and are never short on advice on how to improve the recipe, which is good.   I already have been given some good tips from the pros out there.  The next time will  be better.

Fresh ingredients should be used whenever possible.  I need to find fresh meat to use.  Fresh, farm raised meats will take the cevapi to the next level.  Better ingredients right?

4 thoughts on “Making cevapcici- attempt #1

  1. Good observations. My recipe is 50% beef, 30% pork and 20%lamb.
    Pork you need because of fat (taste as well) but lamb is the most important for a final flavor. Cheers.

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