Legendary Dishes | Ðevrek Pljeskavice (bagel burgers)

CROATIA SERBIA

Croatian chef Srđan Stanković is a master at the barbecue. One of his most popular dishes is đevrek, the bagel-shaped burger filled with cream or with cheese. For these burgers he makes three specific recommendations.

One: the beef should come from the neck and shoulder.

Two: after grinding, the meat must be refrigerated for an hour or more.

Three: soak the burgers in meat stock for 30 minutes before grilling.

We must also add some recommendations.

Play with the quantities, with more or less red pepper flakes, with more or less cheese (between 10% and 15% of the meat), with onions or shallots (the latter add a distinct flavour), decide whether to add pork to the mixture (we suggest pork belly with about half the amount of fat) and whether to add bacon or speck (the latter will enrich the burgers).

Practice the shaping method, by rolling the desired size into a sausage and joining the two ends or by forming a burger shape and making a hole in the middle. The former can result in a c-shaped burger whereas the latter can lose the hole! We recommend the latter but make plain burgers for the first run, to determine shrinkage!

In Croatia the cream is kajmak.

  • 800 g beef / veal (shoulder, neck), minced
  • 100 g bacon / speck, chopped small
  • 100 g pork belly, minced
  • 100 g onions / shallots, chopped small
  • 100 g curd cheese / feta cheese
  • 3 tbsp mineral water
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed, minced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 10 g red pepper (paprika) flakes
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

Filling

  • 120 g cream / curd cheese / feta cheese, cut into large cubes

Combine all the ingredients, divide into eight equal pieces, form into balls, flatten to a thickness no more than two centimetres, make a large indentation in the middle. Grill each side for 10 minutes. Place the cream or the cheese cubes in the centre of each burger five minutes into the final turn.

Serve the burgers with ajvar (red pepper sauce), pečene paprike (roasted peppers), zapečeni g rah (baked beans).