Cevapi are Finger size meatballs, well not meatballs but elongated pieces of meat about the size of a finger, more like a small sausage. The origins is quite complicated. From the best I can tell, it is from the Ottoman Empire, perhaps even before. There are different versions as well.
Cevapi is a national dish in Bosnia and is tradition in numerous other surrounding countries.
Cevapi is traditionally made depending on what region we are talking about with Ground Beef & Lamb and sometimes Pork or a mix of meats. Some say with Onions and Garlic others not and very little seasoning. Mainly Salt & Pepper. Traditionally Paprika is always added but is considered optional.
Roots of the Halifax Donair
I suspect that this dish may be the origins of the Halifax Donair or at least had it’s part to play. Maybe this is why the story goes that only Lamb was originally used and why Peter Gamoulakos the creator of the Halifax Donair said he ran into issues when trying to make this larger to fit on the spit which prompted the introduction of Bread Crumbs into the mix.
Since I am shaping this version of Cevapi to what may have been before the Halifax Donair. I include Parsley, Paprika, Salt & Black pepper with a pinch of Cayenne. I also use Onion and Garlic Powder instead of their raw versions.
They are simple ingredients that create a Fantastic Meat Mixture. Which is probably why it has been around for so long and with many variations. It’s a Classic and loved by many.
These are traditionally shaped into a elongated meatball about finger size or small sausages like a breakfast sausage.
Use a piping bag to pipe the meat out unto the edge of a counter to create the finger size sausages or run it through a Sausage Stuffer if you have one of these. If you have neither of these. Use 1 – 2 Tablespoons to scoop out the mixture and first roll into a ball with wet hands to prevent sticking. Then with each meatball, roll between your palms to create a sausage.
The Cevapi meat can also just be shaped into meatballs to serve as a Meatball Platter. Portion the meat with 1 – 2 Tablespoons and shape into meatballs.
These can also be made into Kebabs. Portion the meat out into 4 parts and skewer. Cook in the oven on broil for about 8 – 10 minutes turning them over every 2 – 3 minutes until cooked through.
Although since this Meat mixture is much like the Halifax Donair it can be served with Halifax Donair Sauce as well.
You can serve these as a Platter with various Sauces, Sides, Salads, Fries or Roasted Vegetables or as a wrap in Lepinja Bread, Pita Bread, Samoon Bread, Lavash Bread, or on Oven Sub Buns. Along with some Veggies like Onions and Tomatoes.
A Greek Salad pairs really well with Cevapi.
- 1 lbs Ground Beef
- 1 tsp Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika, Parsley, Onion, Garlic
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper – more for even spicier
- Combine all of the Ingredients together and mix really well. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more.
- Scoop out your desired portion size and shape into Finger Sized Sausages or Meatballs.
- Place into the oven on broil tossing once in awhile for about 10 minutes. The Juices should run clear.
- Heat a Large Skillet over medium heat. Place the Cevapi in and Cover. Leave for about 3 minutes and then shake the pan around covered to move the Cevapi around. Repeat this every so often for 5 minutes. After 8 minutes uncover the Skillet and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes or so if needed. The Juices should run clear.