Rumblings in the Balkans

Wednesday 14/9/2005


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Diary and Notes

Well I never!

In order to gain some background for today's blog entry I had a look for some interesting facts related to today's quite tasty little morsel. I thought I'd concentrate on Croatia, that being the origin of the idea for the meal (it was based on some pork I had at a Balkan Grill in Germany). I thought I'd look up Croatia on the interent and see what I could find.

Here are a few snippets:

1) The country calls itself Hrvatska. The hrv being very hard to pronounce to the English.

2) The national dish is pork and potato stew (though they eat a lot of fish).

3) The necktie (cravat) was invented in Croatia.

Yes folks, the necktie. Croatia's most famous cultural invention is a completely useless adornment that has become as much of a noose around the soul of many a working man, as any rope would ever make. No wonder there's always trouble in the Balkans.

The very word cravat is a mispronunciation of hrvat or croat. The necktie was originally worn by Croatian mercenaries during the thirty years war (1618-1648) and obviously caught on in the rest of Europe.

I didn't wear a tie to dinner today and perhaps I should have. The next time I make anything from Croatia I'll dress especially for the occasion - that'll shock my housemates.

Especially as the rest of me will be completely naked.

Cake Blog

A Marshmallow Sandwich: I bought this some time ago on a trip to Selfidges - it was really, really disgusting.


  • Croatian Pork Stew
  • Fried Potatoes with Speck (Bratkartoffeln)
  • Saurkraut
  • Malted Brown Bread


    Croatian Pork Stew
    400g Pork Shoulder
    2 tsp Sunflower Oil
    1 Large Onion
    3 Cloves Garlic
    1 tsp Caraway Seeds
    2 Bay Leaves
    1 Clove
    1 Glass White Wine
    250ml Chicken Stock
    2 tsp Dijon Mustard
    Black Pepper
    Gravy Thickener


  • Slice the onion and finely chop the garlic. Fry in a little oil until the onion begins to soften. Slice the pork into thin steaks and add to the pan and brown all over. Add the caray, bay leaves and clove. Pour on the wine and allow to simmer for 10 mins. Add the stock, mustard and some pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. When the pork is tender remove and set aside. Use some gravy thickener (I used chicken Oxo gravy granules) to thicken the sauce.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for three people