Traditional Croatian Cuisine – PEKA
Traditional Croatian food , rather preparation technique held from the past. Amazing to taste, gorgeous to see.
Who made the first one?
Traditional Croatian food, called PEKA is a meal prepared under the bell covered with live coal on a fireplace. Geographically it belongs to areas where the locals didn’t accept Roman baking oven.
Ancient PEKA was made out of clay and iron. There is the assumption that clay cover is a bit older, so the question is, who made the first one? Potter or blacksmith?
At the beginning, it consisted only of a clay or iron cover, and baked dish on the fireplace.
Today PEKA is a shallow vessel, with bell-like cover and unavoidable ring that holds live coals above the cover. Basic rules for preparing it have never changed.
It can be made with any kind of ingredients, flour, meat, fish or vegetables.
In our house we used to prepare PEKA often. For family gatherings, friends and sometimes only to enjoy juicy meat or vegetables.
Marjan Park House recipe
It’s important to set a good fire and prepare quality wood – hornbeam, Beachwood or vine stem – and let it burn into live coal.
We wash and slice a brilliant mélange of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, or zucchini. Put them in a round tray. Grease the chicken, lamb and veal with olive oil. Spice it with salt, pepper, parsley and bay leaves, and add them to the vegetable mixture. Garnish the dish with fresh rosemary – pick some Mediterranean herb from our beautiful garden.
Place the bell over the tray and place all in a wood-burning fireplace, under live coal.
Shouldn’t be over done and baking should proceed gradually. Important is to keep fire in one corner of the fireplace, to avoid pre-term lost of live coal.
Several times we check under the bell, to make sure there is enough liquid. Adding olive oil as needed.
Towards the end of preparation, we stir the meat, spooning the sauces on it and add white wine for better taste.
Cover and return back for approximately 15-20 minutes.
Serve it with bread and fresh salad.
We suggest PEKA for those who enjoy history and old amenities and those who search for ancient taste of croatian local cuisine.
One more NOTICE! It’s great if you can participate or just take a look at baking process.