Pljeskavica, in Cyrillic Serbian Пљескавица, is a Serbian "hamburger" considered a national dish.
The pljeskavica originates from Serbia in the town of Leskovac where it is the specialty. But it is also prepared in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Kosovo and Croatia. It can be found in the Historical Banat (in Serbia, Hungary and Romania) as well as in Slovenia and Bulgaria. Traditionally, pljeskavica is a mixture of cooked lamb and beef that has been fermented with grilled onions. It is served hot in a somun (thick pita bread typical of the Balkans).
This Serbian dish is gaining popularity in Europe. It is served in many fast food restaurants, mainly in Germany and Austria.
Pljeskavica is traditionally served with kajmak cheese sauce or ajvar, a condiment made from peppers and eggplants. But you can also add several ingredients such as spices, ketchup, mayonnaise, tomato, cucumber, cabbage, etc. are often added, depending on individual tastes.
If you want to make this homemade bread, check out the how to make a Somun. You can also use English buns, but the burger bread will also do the trick.
Ingredients for Pljeskavica :
For 6 burgers (quantities to double or triple as needed)
Preparation: 20 min/ Cooking time: 10 min
300 g ground pork
300g of ground beef
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon crushed hot peppers
30-50 g smoked bacon
0.5 to 1 dl of acid water or water stirred with baking soda
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 pinch of a seasoning of your choice (Aromat type)
1 pinch strong or mild paprika
1 Serbian somun bread or burger bread
1 pinch of white pepper
2 tablespoons of kajmak
Preparation of Pljeskavica
Add the meat or meats in a large bowl. The best combination is beef and pork. Add finely chopped onion and garlic, salt, pepper, cracked pepper, oil, finely chopped smoked bacon and add half a dl or 1 dl of sour water (optional).
Mix all this well with your hands and leave it to rest in the fridge. It would be better during the night, although 2-3 hours is enough.
After they have risen, using aluminium foil (make sure it is oiled so that the meat doesn't stick and cooks better), shape the burgers into beautiful shapes, determine the size and thickness yourself ...
The burger is cooked on one side until it turns a nice color, then it is turned over and cooked a little shorter on the other side. It doesn't turn over after that !
Tips : It is better to cook them on charcoal.
Cut the somun/bread in half. Melt the margarine or butter in a frying pan. Add the paprika, selected seasoning and pepper. Stir well and soak both bread halves (soft side) in this mixture for 2 seconds. Set aside.
Pour the kajmak on one of the bread halves and place the cooked steak on top, complete with the other bread half and serve with a bowl of kajmak and or ajvar.