Zec s mlincima – Mlinci with rabbit

Zec s mlincima – Mlinci with rabbit

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The origins of mlinci may not be set in stone, but one thing for sure is that it’s very much embraced by the folk around the Zagorje region, in northern Croatia. It could have come about in the farm houses and villages hundreds of years ago, when owning a wood-fired oven was one of the utmost luxuries a household could have. Communal ovens would have been shared in a village, paid for with trade or any coins a family could afford.

Unlike dried pasta made with hard flour that allows it to be store for long periods of time, mlinci is made with soft flour. And thanks to being cooked (traditionally over hot flames), it can be stored for at least a couple of months.

Mlinci is a “baked pasta”, of sorts, perhaps even cracker-like. Rehydrated by boiling water, drained and then tossed through the hot cooking juices of a roasted turkey. The mlinci absorbs the fats and juices, bulking up an otherwise simple roast with a very tasty accompaniment. I’m sure many would say that the mlinci is the star of the meal.

Rather than roast up a turkey, I jointed a wild rabbit for this delicious peasant-style meal. Rabbit is naturally lean of fats so I added one of my favourites. Duck fat. It helps keep it moist during cooking, as do the cherry tomatoes I added. Many years have passed since I last ate mlinci, so a big thanks to my reader Aleksandra for asking me to make and share it on heneedsfood. I completely forgot about this delicious Croatian meal!

Mlinci can be prepared several days in advance, and stored in a cotton bag or well-sealed tupperware in a dry cupboard. This recipe doesn’t use the full quantity, so keep the remainder for another time. Or just keep posted for more ways to use it, as I’ve come up with some other delicious alternatives.

Check my other mlinci recipes –

Mlinci with mushroom, pumpkin & peas and baked mlinci with lemon & chestnuts

Zec s mlincima recept

Zec s mlincima recept

Zec s mlincima recept

Zec s mlincima recept

 

Print Recipe
Zec s mlincima - Mlinci with rabbit
This traditional North Croatian pasta is served with tender joints of rabbit, tomato and spices. This is peasant food through and through.
Zec s mlincima recept
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Mlinci
Rabbit
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Mlinci
Rabbit
Zec s mlincima recept
Instructions
Mlinci
  1. Combine the flour, salt and duck fat in a large mixing bowl. Rub with your fingers until the fat has been worked through the flour. Alternatively do this in a food processor, pulsing until the mixture is a fine crumble. Add the egg and mix it through the flour with your fingers. Add enough cold water to form a firm but soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for five minutes, until soft. Cut the dough into 8 pieces, cover with a tea towel and set aside for at least half an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C and set up two racks for baking.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll two pieces of the dough to a 2 mm thickness. You don't need to be perfect in what the shape is, only ensuring the rolled out disc will fit on one baking tray. Place the rolled dough onto a flat baking tray, or cookie tray, and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the baked dough sheet over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove the baked dough from the oven and lay on a cooling rack. Repeat the rolling and baking process with the remaining dough balls.
Rabbit
  1. Place the rabbit pieces into an oven-proof dish that will hold them. Scatter the Vegeta, garlic, paprika, chilli flakes and oil over the rabbit. Rub these marinade ingredients over the rabbit, lay them back into the dish in a single layer and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Sauté the onion in the 2 tbsp duck fat over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cherry tomatoes and sauté for a further 1 minute. Turn off heat and set aside to cool a little.
  4. Take the rabbit from the fridge and add the sautéed onion & tomato. Mix to combine. Pour over the water, scatter with black pepper then bake in the oven for 1 hour. Baste the rabbit with the juices, reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the rabbit is tender.
  5. Remove from the oven, and remove the rabbit pieces from the baking dish, reserving the juices. Set aside.
  6. Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil. Take 2-4 pieces of the baked dough and snap into 8-10 cm pieces. When the water boils, turn off the heat and drop the pieces of baked dough into the boiled water for about a minute, stirring very gently until they soften. Drain well and put the drained mlinci straight into the hot rabbit juices, along with the parsley leaves. Mix well, but gently, until the juices have coated the mlinci.
  7. To serve, arrange the mlinci on a platter or serving board, tuck the pieces of rabbit around, drizzle with a little virgin olive oil and eat immediately.
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