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Politically Correct Balkan Pljeskavica

A kind reader passed along the following recipe, which, he says is a hybrid of the pljeskavica he found in Serbia (where it is best), in Macedonia (where they claim to have invented it), and in Bulgaria (where he lives). In Serbia and Macedonia they like to serve it as a giant flat communal burger, he says, so it can be spread on a baking pan, baked until it turns slightly pink, and the put on the grill.

Pljeskavica is traditionally served with a salad of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers with feta, salt and oil, fresh bread, and "of course," Balkan (or even Czech) plum brandy. It may also be served with djuveč rice.


1 pound (500g) ground pork
1 egg
1 Tbsp cracked wheat, bulgur, flour, or bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup grated "yellow" cheese (mozzarella in the West, a milder cheese called kashkaval in the East)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
splash of beer
paprika, salt, and pepper to taste
1 tsp chili pepper (powder)
1/4 tsp small amount of oregano (they use a sweeter version in the Balkans called Chubritsa)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (the key ingredient)
onions and garlic are optional


Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl. Make individual patties or one large one.

Cook on a grill, a grill pan, a frying pan, or under the broiler.

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