Anthony Puharich isn’t going to let Colin Fassnidge get under his skin. Instead he’ll put him to work with a zesty side for his spicy sausage.
Honouring our butcher’s heritage with a Croatian favourite.
A: Well this is a Croatian sensation! Do you know what cevapi is? Skinless sausage.
A: Usually sausage is skin on, of course, but this one is skin off.
C: Which is better?
A: That is up to the audience! This is my background. It’s been years of colcannon and potatoes with you. Now it’s time to get the Croatian sensation back.
C: I’ve got a Dalmatian?
A: Cevapi is juicy. It’s an essential part of the Croatian mixed-grill plate. When I was talking to food director Phoebe Wood about this one after a few martinis, because I’m the prince of meat, I was saying that Croatian food is mostly seafood. But, still, one of our main dishes is this cevapi, a bit of spice…
C: What spices?
A: Chilli, smoked paprika…
C: Hold on, are you going to tell me there’s salt in there as well?
A: Now we get to my dedication to you: the cabbage salad, and I threw in potatoes because we love them in Croatia, too. Then ajvar – capsicum relish. I love the Med – the sun, the sea, the siestas.
C: I’m having a siesta right now listening to you.
A: The Mediterranean diet rules. Olive oil, meat, fish, salads.
C: Can I do the side yet? Warm kipfler potatoes, just cooked and sliced then simply seasoned and drizzled with olive oil. And for the cabbage salad, throw in some shredded raw cabbage with parsley, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.
A: What do the Irish think of the Mediterranean?
C: We love it. We go there every year and we come back after two weeks. We are usually the sausage. We go over like a little pork sausage and come back like a chorizo – burnt. We lie on the beach and we get caramelised.
A: You are the cevapi!
CEVAPI WITH AJVAR, KIPFLER POTATOES AND CABBAGE
500g each beef and lamb mince 1 onion, coarsely grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
400g kipfler potatoes, peeled
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to
1/4 cabbage, shredded
1/ 2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, loosely
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 (370g) capcisums 1 (325g) eggplant
2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 tbs white wine vinegar
Combine meat, onion, garlic, paprika, chilli and bicarb, and season. Divide mixture into 27 (approx 45g each) balls. Shape each portion into a 7cm x 2cm sausage and chill for 1 hour to set.
For the ajvar sauce, heat a lightly greased barbecue or chargrill to high. Grill capsicums, turning regularly, for 30 minutes or until the capsicum skin blisters and blackens. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes to loosen the skin. When cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin. On the same grill, add the eggplant and grill for 30-35 minutes, turning regularly, until the skin blisters and blackens. When cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin.
Place the capsicum, eggplant, garlic, oil and white wine vinegar in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Season to taste and set aside.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan of cold salted water. Cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender, then drain. Cut into thirds and transfer to a large bowl. Season and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
Heat a barbecue or chargrill to medium high heat. Brush cevapi with oil, lower heat to medium-low and cook, turning, for 7-8 minutes until browned and cooked through.
Place cabbage and parsley leaves in a bowl and dress with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Season to taste. Place cevapi on a serving platter with cabbage salad and potato. Serve with ajvar sauce alongside.