Kebapche are delicious meat kebabs, made with a variety of meats. No need to worry if you don’t have beef! Make it entirely with pork, or use ground lamb if you can find some. The only thing that’s mandatory here is meat, salt, pepper, and cumin.
They might sound familiar if you’ve ever been to Croatia, Serbia, or Montenegro. Cevapi are really popular there, and are like tiny kebapche, just with slightly different spices. So, if you like that, you’ll probably like this too.
Jump to Recipe
Kebapche Step By Step
First, mix together your ground pork and ground beef. Add the salt, pepper, cumin. Next, the wet stuff. I added 1/4 cup of beer and I highly recommend it. The beer will result in a juicy kebapche at the end, and makes the cooking time a little more forgiving. Also, beat an egg in a bowl and add it in. I think this helps the mixture keep its shape when pressed together.
Now, let this mixture marinate for a bit. If you just took the meat out of the fridge, I’d give it about an hour. By letting the temperature increase, it’s less likely the middle of your kebapche will still be pink when the outside is done. Also, lets the meat absorb the seasonings. After an hour has passed, roll the meat into fat hot dogs.
If you want the sides I made, thinly slice an onion, and cut up some French fries too. Heat a skillet over medium heat (or do this on a grill if you have one), then add the kebapche once hot. Cook for about 7 minutes, turning at least twice. You want an even browning on all sides. This will also make sure it cooks through, since these guys are so fat. If you’re interested in the making sides too, I’ll dive into that below.
I’ve done some research on what the favorite Bulgarian sides are with kebapche. I come to you with 3 answers: French fries covered with cheese, onions, and tzatziki sauce.
Every American has to know how to make these by now. If you’ve never tried it’s pretty simple. Peel some potatoes and cut into strips. Fill a pot about 1/3 of the way with vegetable, canola, or peanut oil. Heat up to at least 350 F.
Dump your fries in, a few at a time, laying them away from you. I’ve found that if you dump them all in at once, the oil can boil over due to the moisture content in the potatoes. This way, you will notice that long before it can become an issue.
Fry the potatoes for about 6 minutes. No need to time it though. Just wait til you see that beautiful golden brown. Pat dry with a paper towel. Add salt before they cool and put a slice of cheese on there. Bulgarians enjoy a white cheese like feta with their kebapche, so we will just pretend that isn’t American cheese on mine. If you catch the french fry making fever I have a couple recipes that go great with them by the way (lomo saltado, fataya, and papa a la huancaina).
This is pretty simple. Both white and yellow onions make a good side. Thinly slice them, and you can either eat them raw, or quickly fry them in the leftover fat the kebapche will release. I chose the latter, and I don’t regret it.
Tzatziki sauce is like a zesty yogurt if you haven’t had it. To be honest, I ended up not making it. My kebapche were fantastically juicy on their own. If you want to level them up even more though, here’s a highly rated tzatziki recipe.
Kebapche (Bulgarian Meat Kebabs)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 0.33 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ cup beer
- 1 egg
- Mix the ground pork and ground beef together in a mixing bowl.
- Add cumin, salt, pepper, beer. Beat egg in a separate bowl and add to meat.
- Thoroughly mix ingredients til they are homogeneous. Let it marinate on counter for 1 hour.
- Take your hands and begin rolling meat into sausages, about the length of a hot dog, but wider.
- Heat up a skillet on medium heat or fire up the grill. Put the kebapche in.
- Cook for about 7 minutes, turning them at least 2 times, to achieve equal browning and to cook the inside.
- Serve and enjoy!
This was part of an exploration of Bulgarian food by several bloggers this month! Check out all the wonderful Bulgarian dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!
Pandemonium Noshery: Bulgarian Sausage Stew
Sneha’s Recipe: Mekitsa – Bulgarian Fried Doughnuts
Sara’s Tasty Buds: Gevrek
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Patatnik + 2016 Edoardo Miroglio Bio Mavrud & Rubin
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Koledna Pitka (Bulgarian Christmas Bread)
Making Miracles: Gyuveche
Kitchen Frau: Patatnik (Bulgarian Potato Pie)
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Shopska Salata