Cobanac Recipe

Have you ever tried Cobanac or Corbanac? If you haven’t ever had the chance, I strongly encourage you to try it! It’s delicious and satisfying. That is why some people call this dish “The Soul of Slavonia.”

Slow-cooked and made with only the freshest ingredients, this cobanac recipe is a real winner. It’s easy to prepare, and the incredible outcome is so rich and delicious!

Fresh meat, red paprika powder and different spices combine to create a flavor that makes you want to return for more!

You’ll definitely like this one if you are looking for an alternative meal to try during your stay in Croatia! Enjoy it with a nice glass of local brandy or maybe even some fine wine. 

You can also try it on your own, back at home, but I bet it will taste even better if you prepare it on the campfire! So if you want to learn how to make one of the best dishes in eastern Croatia, keep on reading.

Cobanac Recipe: stew-meat-with-onion-and-tomatoes

What Is Cobanac?

Cobanac is a hearty and filling Croatian dish traditionally made in Croatias regions of Slavonia and Baranja. The traditional Cobanac recipe is made with 23 different types of meat, such as a wild game, pork and beef and later slow-cooked to create a thick and hearty soup!

Originally, it was cooked over a fire in a large kettle, but nowadays, it’s slowly cooked on the stove or even in an oven.

They add meat piece by piece, based on toughness. Thus wild game comes first, followed by beef and pork.

They also use many vegetables, including onion, carrots, celeriac root, parsley, and fresh tomatoes, and seasonings like bay leaves, salt, pepper, and, of course, ground sweet and hot red peppers, which give Cobanac its distinctive red color and spicy taste!

This is one of the main Cobanac characteristics. Due to the large fields of sweet or hot red paprika grown in Baranja, this dish also shows how tasty this spice can be.

Because Cobanac is cooked slowly, the chopped beef should be first sauteed in pig fat before being fried with the veggies. Next, wine is poured into the pot, where the meat and veggies are cooked together, bringing out wonderful scents.

Cobanac is typically prepared for a large group. It is best enjoyed with good company and is also delicious when let to stand for a little while!


Cobanac Origin

Nothing fills the body and mind more than a warm and delectable Cobanac, a Slavonian stew cooked in a kettle or large pot after a long day in the field, meadow or forest! 

It is a Slavonian pasture dish from the eastern part of Croatia. It was prepared by Cobani—the shepherdsas a nourishing, meaty dinner cooked over a fire for several hours.

Now you can see where its name comes from! Sometimes you can even come across the name Pastirac, which is the same thing.

Today, there are numerous competitions in this specialty’s preparation and its unique charm; its lengthy preparation and gathering around an open fire, as well as the hanging cauldron that bubbles and fills the air with the aromas of spices and cooked meat!

Cobanac Recipe

Cobanac Recipe Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg meat (3.3 lbs): mix of pork, beef and wild game meat
  • 500 g onion
  • 350 g carrot
  • 75 g parsley root
  • 2 tsp sweet red paprika powder
  • 1 tsp hot red paprika powder
  • 5 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 L water

Cobanac Recipe Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Chop And Sautee Some Onions

Clean the onion and slice it into tiny pieces.

Cook the onions for at least 30 minutes in vegetable oil over low heat. Stir them frequently, and keep an eye on the pot to ensure they don’t burn. After 56 minutes, you can add a little water to ensure nothing burns.

  • Add The Carrots And Roots

Next up, peel the carrots and use a grater to shred them along with the parsley root finely. 

Cook for another 45 minutes after adding them to the onions. The consistency should be almost paste-like.

  • Season And Stir

Now is the time to add the paprika powder and thoroughly mix it into the vegetables. You can also add salt to taste.

  • Dice And Cook The Meat

Dice the meat into bite-sized pieces, and add it to the pot in the following order: wild game meat first, beef after 5 minutes, and pork after another 5 minutes.

Cook till it is golden brown. Season the meat and vegetables with salt and mix well.

  • Pour The Water And Cook

You’ll need about 5 liters of water for this number of ingredients; start with the first liter and cook for about 1 hour. Then add the remaining water and cook for another hour. Lastly, add the chili peppers in the last half hour, if desired.

Here, you can add some chopped tomatoes and peppers, but this step isn’t necessary.

  • Extra Taste (Optional)

If you want to enhance and add more flavor, you can pour some red wine while the stew is still bubbling!

Any spices of your choice are welcome as well!

Cobanac is cooked and ready to serve when the vegetables and meat are almost falling apart.

Cobanac in kazan

Cobanac Recipe Serving Suggestions

As you can see, this is a slow-cooked stew that will take you roughly 3 hours to create, but it will be well worth it! Serve with a couple of slices of bread while it’s still hot, and if you prefer it extra spicy, a few hot pickled peppers will add a nice kick!

It’s also super delicious if you serve it with some baked potatoes or rice or enjoy it with a side of Shopska Salad!

I recommend you drink a fine Croatian white wine, such as Rajnski Rizling, or some cold beer when served for lunch!

Looking for more recipes? Check these Balkan food guides:

  1. Burek recipe
  2. Palacinke recipe
  3. Punjene paprike
  4. Balkan pita
  5. Ajvar recipe
  6. Dolma recipe
  7. Pljeskavica recipe
  8. Piftija Recipe
  9. Shopska salad recipe
  10. Krempita recipe
  11. Tavce gravce
  12. Struklji recipe
  13. Kifle recipe
  14. Moussaka recipe
  15. Tarator recipe
  16. Trilece recipe
  17. Qifqi recipe
  18. Kajmak recipe
  19. Banitsa recipe
  20. Sach recipe
  21. Sarma recipe
  22. rafioli recipe
  23. gyro recipe
  24. Krofne recipe
  25. Goulash Recipe
  26. Lokum Recipe
  27. Paprikash Recipe

And our massive country guides:

  1. Traditional Croatian Food
  2. Serbian Food Guide
  3. Macedonian Food Guide
Finally, here are our curated Balkan food guides:
  1. Balkan Food Guide
  2. Best Balkan Meats Guide


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