Ante's Croatian Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes

Ante's Croatian Peka Recipe

Captured by The Recipe Hunters  in Croatia

We travelled to Imotski, Croatia, where Ante showed us how to cook traditional "Ispod Peka," literally translating to "cooking under the lid." You can cook all kinds of food under the peka, such as vegetables, meat, and even bread! The method of cooking Peka is as follows: You begin with a fire. You remove the fire from it's the heated surface, most commonly a fireplace of clay stones, and replace the fire with the food. You then cover the food with a cast iron or steel dome (the peka or sač). You then place the hot embers from the fire on top of the cast iron dome, which are kept in place by a metal band that fits perfectly at the base of the dome. In essence, the Peka becomes a self-contained oven, sealing in the heat and flavors. The food, most commonly meat and potatoes are slow braised for hours resulting in a fall-off-the bone texture. This is one of The Recipe Hunters favorite recipes!

 

Made with Love Tip:  Read the recipe and look at the pictures before you begin so that you can multitask and prioritize!

 

Recipe for 

Croatian Peka

Ingredients for 

Croatian Peka

Feel free to substitute the seasoning of the meat and potatoes with your favorite vegetables, spices and herbs.

Equipment for 

Croatian Peka

  • 10 x 2" Round Baking Pan

  • Outdoor Wood Fired oven or Outdoor Fire Place

  • Peka

  • Metal Band

  • Small Fireplace Shovel

Serves 10 People

 

  1. Start a large fire on your outdoor surface. Hang the peka 1 ft (30 cm) above the flame of the fire so that it heats up *Make sure that the metal band is around the base of the bell so that it can hold the embers in.

  2. You want the floor of the oven to be hot, so feed the fire for 1-1.5 hours before you replace the pan and peka with the fire. 

  3. While the fire is burning, cube the veal into 1" squares.

  4. Coat the interior of the baking pan with lard and place the cubed veal and pieces of chicken (optional) to the pan. Add another Tbsp of lard ontop of the meat.

  5. Sprinkle salt, pepper and vegeta over the meat and mix it in. Broil the meat in the oven, mixing it until the meat is browned. 

  6. While meat is browning, peel potatoes and cut them lengthwise into wedges. 

  7. Dice up all of the vegetables. Add them to a large bowl and then add the tomato paste, olive oil, paprika, vegeta (or bouillon cubes), and salt. Cover the pan with a lid and shake, or use your hands to mix.

  8. After 1-1.5 hours of the fire burning, push the embers to one side and place the circular baking pan where the fire embers were.

  9. Cover the pan with the Peka/Sač bell and, using a small shovel, shovel the glowing embers onto the peka.

  10. Add more wood to the remaining fire embers, so that you always have a constant supply of free embers to add to the peka. You may need to smash down some hot wood, to create more embers.

  11. As you wait for the peka to slow roast the meat, pour yourself a glass of Croatian wine or brandy.

  12. An hour into cooking, remove the peka and check on your meat. If you like your meat a little more crispy and well done, stir up the meat and place the peka back on top and add fresh embers above. Check again in 30-45 minutes.

  13. Once done, the potatoes should be golden delicious, the meat should be tender and juicy, and you should have enough wine in you to celebrate the eating of your slowed braised Croatian Peka meal, Made with Love.

  • 3 kg Veal 

  • For chicken lovers, throw in a few pieces of chicken

  • 10 Potatoes - Medium sized

  • Vegeta or 2 cubes of crushed vegetable bouillon cubes

  • 1 Tomato

  • 1 Sweet Onion

  • 1 Red Onion

  • 2 Green Onions

  • 1 Peeled Carrot

  • 1 Large Pepper

  • Bunch of Parsley

  • Leaf of 1 stalk Celery

  • Handful Mint Leaves

  • Pinch of Rosemary

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste

  • Rosemary

  • White wine

  • 3 Tbsp Pork lard (can substitute Olive Oil or butter) 

  • Salt

  • Paprika

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Ante's Croatian Peka Recipe Photos

The Peka Bell hanging over the fire to heat up, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes

Heating the Peka over the Fire

Seasoned veal and lard, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes

Seasoned Veal & Lard

Seasoned potatoes and vegetables, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes

Seasoned Potatoes and Veggies

seasoned vegetables, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes
Vageta Mix, Punjene Paprike (Stuffed Peppers) & Sarma (Stuffed Collard Greens) Recipe, Croatia

Vegeta

Organic Croatian Onions, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes
Browned veal, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes

Browned Veal

Vegeta over the veal, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes
Vegetable heart, , Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes
Pouring potatoes over the veal, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes
Placing the peka bell over the veal and potatoes, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes
Covering the Peka with Embers and moving fire to the side, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes

Covering the Peka with Embers

Delicious Cooked Peka, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes
Juicy veal, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes
Anthony from The Recipe Hunters and Ante, Peka Recipe, Croatian Traditional Recipes

Ante

Anthony

Written by The Recipe Hunters: 

Leila Elamine and Anthony Morano

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