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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cevapcici (Balkan Sausages/Meat rolls) LC, GF, SF

If you have never heard of them, Cevapcici are little Balkan rolls of minced and seasoned meat. Very tasty and quite addictive, especially fresh off the grill! And as it happens, they are very low-carb friendly!
They are very popular in Germany, which is why I pretty much grew up with them! But I haven’t had them in many years now, so it was time to make them again! Can’t believe I waited this long!
There are two ingredients in these that are sure to get some raised eyebrows, so I will explain up front! Yes, they have baking powder in them!
It serves two purposes. The obvious one is that we want to have some rise in the meat, to have a less dense end product. The other function is that the baking powder acts as an emulsifier, making the water and fat mingle better and preventing the sausage from drying out and losing all it’s juices while cooking!
The carbonated water also serves for some extra “lift” in combination with the baking powder! If you don’t have carbonated water on hand, you can use just regular water, but carbonated would definitely be better!


4 lbs. ground meat  - I like a mix of pork and beef best, with even a touch of lamb if I can get it. My favorite ratio is 1.5 lbs. of pork, 1 lb. of beef and 1/2 lb. of lamb, but half beef and half pork works well too!
2 medium sized onions, very finely minced (but not pureed)
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp. sea salt 
1 tbsp. black pepper, ground
4 tbsp. hot Hungarian paprika
4 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika

6 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely minced (or 4tbsp. dried parsley)
3.5 tbsp. oil of choice 
2.5 tbsp. baking powder  (GAPS/Paleo, use 1 tbsp baking soda)
3/4 cup carbonated water


Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (hand mixer with dough hooks works fine too.)

Process everything on low, scraping down the sides several times if needed. This will take a few minutes until everything is incorporated.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hrs.
Then form little sausage rolls. It helps to wet your hands!

If you have a sausage extruder attachment or a sausage stuffer, by all means, use that!
Once done, you can either grill the sausages on the BBQ or in the pan.
If you’re doing them in a frying pan, get a little oil nice and hot, then sear the sausages from all sides. Turn down the heat and let them cook all the way through. You’ll see them puff up a bit too, so make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan so they have room to expand!
The picture below shows them puffing up a little!


I like my Cevapcici with a nice dark and crispy crust on them but you can make them much later if that’s not your thing!
You can also just mostly cook them on a low heat, cool them and freeze them. Reheat them for a quick and easy dinner, or breakfast for that matter!
Or you can freeze the uncooked sausages and cook them straight from frozen. You can even deep fry them straight from frozen!

Makes 40 large Cevapcici @ 57 g of carbs with 26 g of fiber for the entire recipe. 
That’s 0.7 g of net carbs per sausage!

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  1. Well, I never! Heard of this, that is. :) Thanks so much! I will certainly give this a go!

  2. Hi Birgit. I love your blog. What is the dipping sauce you have next to the meal rolls? Gosh those look good.

  3. Thank you, Mona! That dip is just one of those "clear out leftovers" things. A little greek yogurt, some garlic, some fresh herbs form the garden and a smidgen of salt :)

    However, I had them this morning with this (http://glutenfreegirl.com/smoked-paprika-chipotle-sauce/) dip and it's sooo good!!

  4. Great idea. I would love to use a lamb/pork combination for a Greek variation. I agree with the dip idea Birgit, yogurt dill dip sounds great with them. Thanks guys.

  5. Hi Mark, yes, the addition of some oregano with the parsley in a greek version is very nice too! Served with some true tzatziki and a greek cabbage salad! Yum!

  6. Hi, I grew up with them too! (I come from Slovakia, Europe) and I absolutely love the little sassy Cevapcici's LOL. I was positively surprised to see them on your blog.
    We serve Cevapcici-s with a sliced fresh onion, mustard, and mashed potatoes. But, since I am a low-carber, I substitute cauliflower mashed potatoes for the regular version of them.

  7. In Bosnia they are traditionally served with a pita bread called somun or pide, raw chopped onion and kaymak, which is a milk product similar to curds or clotted cream.

  8. Recipe looks great I'll make them soon.

  9. I am SO HAPPY that this exists! I had cevapcici at a wedding this weekend and it's basically all I've thought about since. I can't wait to try to recreate this deliciousness, I'll let you know how my version turns out. Thank you for publishing it!!

  10. The best cevapcici recipe I found so far. I already made them for 4 times and will make them again today, so I thought it's more than time to thank you for that awesome recipe. I serve them with some Djuvec style rice, tzaziki and an simple salad an my boyfriend loves to take leftover cevapcici to work the next day and eats them cold! Thank you for the recipe! :)


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Birgit Kerr