obanac - Slavonian Shepard's Stew
Favorite Traditional Croatian Main Dish
Shepard's stew, locally called Čobanac is a traditional dish originating from continental parts of Croatia. This stew tastes the best prepared in the cooper kettle on the open fire. In old days, it used to be prepared on built-in fireplaces inside house.
This is a great dish to make for large company, for celebrations in the outdoors or for big company picnics. Depending of the region, there are couple variations for this recipe although main guidelines are the same: a lots of fine chopped onions, few different types of meat, along with different spices and long cooking time.
My Favorite Recipe for Cobanac - 15 person recipe - those of average body constitution and appetite
1 soups spoon sunflower oil
1 kg onion - finely chopped
0,75 kg pork legs
(this serves for thickness, you can remove it before serving)
water (for one serving app.0,5 l of water)
5 kg meat without bones - all cut in cubes app. 2,5 cm and placed separately intro containers (my selection: 2,5 kg of beef - preferably from ham, 1,5 kg of pork, 0,5 kg of sheep, 0,5 kg of deer or wild boar)
1 - 2 bay leaves
0,5 l tomato sauce (can do without this)
2 - 3 pieces of sliced hot peppers
2 soup spoons of sweet paprika powder
1 soup spoon of hot paprika powder
2 dl white wine
0,5 kg potatoes - cut into cubes
Start with fire preparation and cooking by placing sunflower oil, chopped onion and pork leg into cooper kettle. Stew onions for few minutes and than add water to cover it. On strong fire cook onion and pork legs for app.20 minutes, and than add spoon of sweet paprika powder and bay leaves. After this add all of the prepared beef, deer or boar meat and sheep - these need a longer cooking time. Add as much water to cover meat and cook for another hour.
After an hour, add hot peppers, pork (if you prepared chicken or rabbit meat this is time to add it!), tomato sauce and as much water to cover all of the ingredients. When meat becomes soft, you can add hot and sweet paprika powder. Add salt, wine and potato during last cooking hour. All together cooking time is approximately 3,5 hours.
Bayou Classic cast iron cookware is made heavy-duty, rough and rugged. The 6-qt. soup pot with lid is ideal for slow cooking stews, gumbo, and chili.
Plastic bowls are light and very handy if you're serving meals to large company in outdoors. This is set of 36 plastic bowls. You'll never lack an extra bowl!
Tips and Tricks
for great traditional Slavonian Shepard's Stew
Never add hot water, only cold or slightly warm to keep meat from crumbling. This is a reason why salt comes at the end as well.
Čobanac should be cooked on constantly strong fire so it boils during complete cooking time. This will help with thickness of the stew.
Don't add too much of sweet paprika powder, or too early - if you do this, paprika powder sweetness can turn to bitterness.
White wine is usually used for it's sourness, helpful with preventing meat to decompose. Same thing with tomato sauce - don't use it too much as it tends to overtake flavor of the dish.
Potatoes are great for removing extra salt from dish (if you happened to add a little too much of it) but also to add to density of the stew.
Are you ready to give a try to this traditional Croatian dish called Čobanac?