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.
Table of Contents
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 2–3 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!
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 shepherds—as 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 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 5–6 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 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:
- Burek recipe
- Palacinke recipe
- Punjene paprike
- Balkan pita
- Ajvar recipe
- Dolma recipe
- Pljeskavica recipe
- Piftija Recipe
- Shopska salad recipe
- Krempita recipe
- Tavce gravce
- Struklji recipe
- Kifle recipe
- Moussaka recipe
- Tarator recipe
- Trilece recipe
- Qifqi recipe
- Kajmak recipe
- Banitsa recipe
- Sach recipe
- Sarma recipe
- rafioli recipe
- gyro recipe
- Krofne recipe
- Goulash Recipe
- Lokum Recipe
- Paprikash Recipe
And our massive country guides:
Jadranka Y. and Pero K. Foodies, lovers. Jadranka is the queen of pastries and sweets, whereas Pero is the prince of meat and potatoes.
They met at 15, while working in the kitchen of a famous chef here in the Balkans, and have been together ever since.
But they still love each other and are faithful till death or until one messes up their dish. Which happens quite often if you ask anyone of them.
Love is a battlefield and Jadranka and Pero decide who wins, in the kitchen.