Serbian Cevapi is considered to be the National Dish of Serbia. These peppery kebabs are made from three types of fresh ground meat, are fun to make and well worth the effort. The flat bread called Lepinja is pretty simple to make and the recipe is also included here. If you were short on time, you could use any good flat bread to make this yummy Serbian entrée.I used my Kitchenaid meat grinder to make the kebabs. The better cuts of meat you use, the better your Serbian Cevapi will taste. I used a combination of lamb, pork and beef, and they were superb.
Cevapi is typically served with onions on top, and good helping of kaymak which is a creamy dairy product. If you can’t find it, I have included a quick and easy recipe to replicate it.
The flat bread called lepinja is pretty simple to make, and we loved it. Serbian cevapi is somewhat like a sandwich but never on a bun like a hamburger only flat bread.
Many countries in the region love cevapi although it is made with various meats and accompaniments. You will definitely find this delight on the street in Serbia. I love street food, don’t you?
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Serbian Ćevapi u lepinja sa kajmakom (Kebabs in flat bread with Kaymak)
The national dish of Serbia, you can grind your own meat or buy it all ready ground, to save time.
- Ingredients for the Cevapi
- 1 lb beef
- ½ lb lamb
- ½ lb pork
- 1 white onion sliced very thin
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon parsley for garnish
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper to taste
- Ingredients for Lepinja
- 3 ½ cups Bread flour
- 2 tablespoons dry active yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 2/3 cups warm water
- 1-2 teaspoons cooking oil
- 1 egg yolk beaten to baste on top of the Lepinja’s before baking
To make the Serbian Cevapi kebabs
Cut the meat into 1” cubes to go through your meat grinder. Grind all the meat together and run through your grinder twice.
Add salt and pepper to the meat mixture and mix thoroughly
Form the meat into small size sausages a little bigger than your thumb and about 3 inches long. (you can do this preparation ahead of time and have them rest in the refrigerator, overnight is okay as long as they are covered.)
Grill the kebabs over hardwood coals on a BBQ for the best flavor. You can use a small amount of cooking oil to baste the kebabs and keep them from sticking to your grill.
When the kebabs are almost finished cooking, warm the flat bread on the grill.
Take off the flat bread Lipinja, smear with the Kaymak, put several kebabs on the bread and top with onions, crushed red peppers and parsley.
Instructions for the Lepinja (Serbian Flat Bread)
Pour the flour into a large bowl making a dent in the middle. Put the Yeast and sugar and salt in the dent.
Add the warm water and knead it to make a soft dough. Mix 5- 10 minutes until you see airy bubbles.
Once you are happy with the dough, pour 1-2 teaspoons of cooking oil around the edges of the dough, making sure the oil surrounds the dough in the bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it until the dough rises.
When the dough rises, slowly turn it over and let it rise again, repeat this process two more times.
After the last rise, take the dough out of the bowl and place on a floured surface, divide into four equal balls.
Put floured parchment paper on a baking tray
Place each floured ball onto the tray
Let rest for 10 minutes then shape each lepinja by spreading out the dough into a circle and poke with a fork many times.
Baste the top of each lapinja with the egg yolk.
Put the baking tray into the oven at 440 degrees , they should take about 15-20 minutes to until they are golden brown.
Put into a kitchen towel to keep soft when finished.
NOTE: If you need to make some Kaymak
Kaymak is a creamy dairy product. It is made from cow or sheep’s milk. If you cannot find Kaymak, combine 1 part sour cream, with 1 part softened cream cheese, and ½ part feta. Mash up feta and blend all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve at room temperature.