Pašticada

Pašticada

Pašticada in Chasseur round French oven duck egg blue

Many people associate sweet and sour with Asian-style cooking. A pretty valid way of thinking, but there are other cultures that like to mix things up and get the tastebuds wondering what the hell may be going on.

What I’m sharing here is pašticada, a dish that originates from the beautiful part of Croatia known as Dalmatia – an area that takes up a good chunk of the southern coastline, including its islands.

Pašticada

Pašticada in Chasseur round French oven duck egg blue

It’s quite often prepared for special celebrations and gatherings – weddings, christenings, even at wakes – and traditionally it’s frikando that’s used (the outer part of the thigh), I understand.

I’ve used pork because I needed to get through my little stash from Murray Valley Pork – generously sent to sample.

Pašticada

The idea behind this dish is to stud the meat with a variety of ingredients like carrots, garlic and fatty bacon. It’s generously rubbed with salt and then given an overnight bath in vinegar.

This is where the sour comes in.

The brine is discarded before the meat is slow-cooked for several hours with red wine, prunes and prošek – a dessert wine that also comes out of Dalmatia. Lucky for me there’s one place I found in Sydney that imports it, but a good old sticky would be fine.

This is where the sweet comes in, and many recipes call for other fruits to be incorporated. I guess the recipe changes from village to village, house to house, baka to baka.

The usual seasonings are added ( I used my trusty Vegeta), balancing out the sweet and sour. Once the meat cooks to tender perfection the sauce is puréed, the meat is sliced and put back into it, and the dish is heartily served with gnocchi.

Recipe adapted from here

*Duck Egg Blue French Oven supplied by Chasseur

Pašticada

 

Print Recipe
Pašticada
A traditional sweet and sour dish from Croatia's Dalmatian coastline.
Pašticada recept
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Marinade
To cook
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Marinade
To cook
Pašticada recept
Instructions
Marinade
  1. Rub the salt all over the pork. Using a paring knife, stab the pork in several places and fill each pocket with a piece of garlic, pancetta and carrots.
  2. Place the pork into a bowl or container large enough to fit it snugly along with the onions. Tuck the rosemary and bay in, then pour over the vinegar. The pork and onions should be completely submerged. If not, try using a smaller container or simply pour over more vinegar.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To cook
  1. Remove the pork from the fridge and drain very well, discarding the vinegar. Keep the onions, rosemary and bay leaves and set aside.
  2. Heat a large heavy-based pot over medium-high flame. Pour in the oil then sear the pork on all sides until golden. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
  3. Toss the reserved onions into the hot oil and sauté for several minutes until a bit golden on the edges. Add the garlic and prunes and cook for a further 1 minute.
  4. Place the pork back into the pot and nestle it in with the onions and prunes, pour over the prošek, red wine and add the reserved rosemary and bay leaves. Add the Vegeta and black pepper.
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Place the lid on and cook for 2 hours, turning the pork over once during cooking.
  6. Turn the heat off and carefully remove the pork from the liquid. Set it on chopping board and cut into thick chunks.
  7. Remove and discard the rosemary and bay leaves from the cooking liquid. Using a stick blender, blitz the cooking liquid, onions and prunes to a puree. Check for seasoning. Place the cut pork back into the liquid and cook a little more, if needed.
  8. Serve with gnocchi.
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