S is for Serbia: Pljeskavica (Hamburgers) with Vegan Potato Salad (Gluten Free)

It may sound like an all-American dinner, but this is a very popular Serbian meal

It may sound like an all-American dinner, but this is a very popular Serbian meal

We’re up to the letter “S” in Cooking Around the World with a trip to Serbia!  I have to admit, I had absolutely no idea what traditional Serbian cuisine was like.  And it wasn’t until yesterday that I found out that Aileen from Morsels & Moonshine was of Serbian descent, or I would have asked her!  But, alas, I had already made my Serbian meal.

Pljeskavica & Potato Salad

Pljeskavica & Potato Salad

Through my research, I discovered that the national dish of Serbia is Pljeskavica: a pork and beef hamburger.  While I would have been game for trying some of the more vegetable-heavy recipes, my husband was rooting for the burger (no real surprise there).  I acquiesced, and burgers it was.

Apparently, pljeskavica can be served in multiple ways in Serbia: straight up on a plate (in the vein of salisbury steak), on a pita, or on a bun.  We opted for the bun route (gluten free pitas are hard to come by), and the resulting meal was delicious.  The blend of meat was novel in terms of a burger, and the paprika added a nice depth of flavor.  As good as the burger was, though, my favorite part of the meal was the potato salad.  Now, I’ll admit that I’m not typically a big fan of American potato salad.  The mayo-based recipes just sort of skeeve me out, and I end up poking the potatoes around my plate more than actually eating them.  This, however, is an oil-and-vinegar based version, and it was quite tasty!  Especially with the red peppers and a touch of sugar for sweetness, this may be my new go-to potato salad recipe.

But enough of my chit-chat — here are the recipes!

Serbian Hamburgers (Pljeskavica)

Adapted from http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/croatianserbmaincourses/r/pljeskavica.htm

Perfectly juicy burger, made even better with a Schar Ciabatta roll

Perfectly juicy burger, made even better with a Schar Ciabatta roll

Ingredients

  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp. paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, and blend to combine. Alternatively, this can be done by hands. Place meat mixture in fridge for a few hours to allow flavors to meld together.
  2. Shape meat into four evenly sized patties.
  3. Cook on a grill or grill pan and serve hot.

Serbian Potato Salad

Adapted from http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/starches/r/serbpotsalad.htm

Vegan Potato Salad: My favorite part of the dinner!!

Vegan Potato Salad: My favorite part of the dinner!!

Ingredients

  • 3 large white potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place potatoes in a pot, cover with water, and boil for about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes.
  2. Meanwhile, briefly sauté together the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. You don’t want to get these overly soft, just get the raw edge off of them.
  3. Combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Combine potatoes and onion mixture. Toss with dressing, and serve at room temperature. This can be made in advance, refrigerated overnight, then brought up to temperature the next day.
Pin me, pin me!!

Pin me, pin me!!

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