Croatian Cooking: Pašticada Recipe (Beef Stew) (2024)

October 1, 2021November 3, 2023 | SJ

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Croatian Cooking: Pašticada Recipe (Beef Stew) (1)

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

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Pašticada is the holy grail of Dalmatian Croatian cooking, for me. Here in Dalmatia, this stewed beef dish is prepared with an exceptional sauce. You may know it asDalmatinska pašticada, Dalmatian Pot Roast, or even just as beef stew,but whatever you call it requires long and meticulous preparation.

I feel blessed that I was given this recipe to share with you all from the award-winning chefMario Mandarić who is the head chef at La Gitanarestaurant, located on the island of Hvar. This recipe is his personal spin on the traditional recipe.

La Gitanais on my list of places to visit when it opens up in summer. It’s located on one of the oldest historical squares in Stari Grad. Theyoffer a blend of traditional Dalmatian hospitality with a mix of originality, both in and out of the kitchen.

A friend of mine who visited the restaurant when it opened last year said it’s a “charming rustic restaurant that offers a tasty blend of Spanish and traditional dalmatian cuisine.”

Here is what you need for this pašticada recipe

Croatian Cooking: Pašticada Recipe (Beef Stew) (2)

This pašticada recipe is the holy grail of Dalmatian Croatian cooking. In Dalmatia, this stewed beef dish is prepared with a very special sauce.

Ingredients

Pašticada

  • 2 kg (4.4 lbs) beef, top round (you can also use topside, silverside or rump) You want the back end of the cow
  • 20 g smoked/dried bacon (0.7 oz)
  • 200 g onions (7 oz)
  • 150 g parsley root (5.3 oz)
  • 150 g carrot (5.3 oz)
  • 50 g celery root (1.8 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 20 g tomato paste (0.7 oz)
  • 200 ml cooking oil or olive oil (1 cup)
  • Apple cider
  • 10 g cloves (0.35 oz)
  • 10 dried plums, diced
  • 6 dried figs
  • 2 apples, peeled and quartered
  • 300 ml red wine (1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 Tbls. mustard
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • Rosemary leaves
  • Cooking chocolate (75% cocoa)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Gnocchi

  • 2 L of milk (8.5 cups)
  • 1,200 g flour (type 550) (9.5 cups)
  • 60 g butter (4 Tbls.) cut into small cubes
  • 20 g of ground nutmeg (0.71 ounces)
  • Pinch of salt
  • A few drops of olive oil

Instructions

Pašticada

  1. Wash and wipe the meat and then insert the pieces of bacon in it using a knife. Salt, as desired, spread mustard over the meat and place it in the “pajc” (acontainer with a mixture of the apple cider vinegar and oil enoughto cover the meat). Let itmarinate like this for at least 5 hours (overnight, preferably)
  2. Brown the meat in hot oil (all sides). Remove it from the pan and quickly sauté thechopped onion, garlic, and vegetables
  3. Return the meat to the pan along with the red wine & simmer coveredfor about 2 hours. If required, add small amounts of red wine mixed with water and touch of sugar (dalmatianprošek works great as a replacement for this) as the meat cooks – it needs to be tender
  4. When the meat is tender,add tomato concentrate, diced prunes, and figs alongwith the apple quarters
  5. At the end of the cooking, stir in the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme & minced cloves
  6. Addpepper and a little salt, try it and, if necessary, add a little bit of cooking chocolate. Balance the flavor with a bit of red wine and plums in order to get asweet & sourtaste to your liking
  7. Remove the meat, cut it into slices, and place on a heated plate
  8. Purée the vegetableswith roast the drippings and pour it over the meat
  9. Serve with gnocchi and a slice of lemon

Gnocchi

  1. Pour milk into a medium-sized container and let it boil
  2. Add the nutmeg, salt, butter, and olive oil
  3. When the milk boils, remove it from the heat and gently mixing with a wooden spoon, add flour
  4. When you add all the flour, mix it well enough so that it all merges into a single substance similar to dough. After you achieve that, leave it for 3-4 hours to cool completely
  5. Remove the dough, divide it into two or three parts, shape each of them into a roll, and cut it into identically sized pieces.
  6. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water for 12 minutes and serve as a side dish to pašticada

Croatian Cooking: Pašticada Recipe (Beef Stew) (3)

More Tasty Croatian Recipes

  • Sarma Recipe {Stuffed Cabbage Rolls}
  • Meat and Cheese Burek
  • Stuffed Peppers {Punjene Paprike}
  • Klipići {rolls}
  • Under the bell {Ispod čripnje}
  • Octopus Salad
  • Pasta and Bean Soup
Croatian Cooking: Pašticada Recipe (Beef Stew) (2024)
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