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Skinless Balkan sausages called ćevapčići popular in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The ćevapčići were a really tasty way to get a protein infusion to balance the wine, beer, and kremšnita.
Cook Time9 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
Author: Melissa Joulwan


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ whole medium onion
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¾ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 lb. ground grass-fed beef
  • 1 lb. ground grass-fed lamb


  • Place the garlic, onion, parsley, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika in the bowl of a food processor. In a small bowl, mix the hot water with the cream of tartar and baking soda until the powders are dissolved. Add the baking soda mixture to the food processor and purée everything. If you have a large food processor that can handle it, add the meat and process the whole shebang until it’s smooth and all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. If you do not have a large food processor, place the beef and lamb in a large bowl, then add the purée and mix well with your hands.
  • Roll the meat into sausage shapes — they should be about 4 inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter. I’m not going to lie to you: this is a pain in the tuches, but it’s worth it because these little suckers are delicious. (For what it’s worth, I tried simply rolling this same meat mixture into meatballs and grilling them — not. the. same. Faster, but not as tasty. You make the call.) As you finish rolling, line up the sausages like little soldiers on a baking sheet. Cover the ćevapčići with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  • Let’s cook ‘em! Roast the ćevapčići either on a preheated gas grill or under the broiler. They take about 5 minutes per side to turn a luscious, dark brown on the outside and to cook through in the middle. (In a pinch, you can also pan-fry them in a large, non-stick skillet.)
  • Serve with chopped white onions and ajvar. These would go really nicely with a side of green beans (steamed and tossed with olive oil and garlic) or cauliflower rice.