The top 4 places in Serbia for roast Pig

Serbia,

..A most beautiful and small country of the central Balkans may not yet be known for its culinary delights but that is something which is soon to change because food lovers, like me, are continuously discovering new places to experience some of the best eats in the world.

Serbia is still a place where the availability of organic produce is more often than not the norm, where animals commonly roam freely in pastures unaffected by pesticides and pollutants and when it comes to food preparation the philosophy is; ‘keep it simple’.

In Serbia it helps if you are a meat lover because if you are you’ll be able to taste some of the best pig, lamb, fish and BBQ anywhere.

Should you prefer the vegetarian or the vegan way of life then you should know that Serbia has an amazing selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, fresh herbs and dairy which, often organic, are readily available everywhere and, more often than not, present on every dinner table.

Today I will introduce to you my favourite 4 places to eat some of the most amazing Roast Pig (Praseće Pečenje) you’ll find anywhere.

Praseće Pečenje

Roast pig or pork is by far the most loved meat among Serbians and almost always features as the main entrée at any given celebration.

Roast pig is, in my humble opinion, one of the most delicious of all meats, provided it is prepared right. In order to roast a pig one doesn’t really need much apart from salt, hot coals and good dose of patience.

Serbia definitely does one of the best roast pig in the world!

I can confidentially say so because Serbs have had plenty of time over the course of history to practice , in fact ever since the invasion of the Turks (ad 1459).

The story goes that the Ottomans were, as most Turks are today, Muslims.

Muslims don’t eat pork. During the occupation the Ottomans would demand that Serbs supply them with food, especially with much loved lamb meat. The Serbs soon learned that Pork was not on the conqueror’s menu and, much to the Ottomans disappointment, started roasting pig instead of lamb.

From this period on Serbs started perfecting the delicate art of roasting whole animals and soon discovered that the best roast doesn’t need much else than salt to bring out the natural flavour of tenderly reared meat

There are plenty of Pečenjera (those places that specialize in roasting lamb and pig) all over the country. Most of them cook a perfectly roasted pig but there are 3 places that stands out above the rest.

Even Belgrade can now boast several places to eat roast pig. There is one place in particular, “Kod Deda Stavre” that does a really good roast and I will tell you more about this place later.

Roast pig, as well as lamb, should be eaten hot, straight from the spit. If the meat cools down it looses its deliciousness because the juices coagulate and the skin tends to soften, especially if it has been refrigerated for a period of time.

The following four places are all on my favourite’s list because they are busy enough with customers to be able to roast continuously and hence be able to serve up deliciously, juicy and crispy meat every time.

Number 1. Mali Hrast (The Small Oak)

This place is located in a town named Arandjelovac, about an hour’s drive from the centre of Belgrade. Mali Hrast prepares roast pig and only roast pig. This one thing they do, they do extremely well.

When it comes to eating roast pig Serbians regard Mali Hrst as Vrh (pronounced “Vrüg” with the ‘ü’ silent ), simply put; Tip-Top!

Mali Hrast roasting method:

Take a piglet of approximately 20-25Kg (live) weight. Make sure the skin is very dry. Rub all over, inside and out, with vegetable oil (on the skin only) and salt. Best is to use salt without additives as this tends to give a better result when it comes to crispness. Rest the hog at room temperature for up to an hour for the salt to have time to really soak into the skin. Salt makes the roast tasty and the skin crispy.

Slowly roast the pig at ⁓ 200ºC for up to 5 hours in a closed electric rotisserie, occasionally basting the roast with beer. That’s it.

The pig is ready when piercing the skin with a sharp object, such as a knife, and the juices run clear. The skin itself should be caramel-brown and super crispy.

TIP: Make sure to leave a deep pan or metal tray under the pig so as to be able to catch the juices and drippings. These can later be used to spread on bread or to roast potatoes in.

How to get there

Adress: Put 1300 Kaplara 107, Aranđelovac

Telephone: +381 (0)64- 2116756

For Satellite Navigation

Click on Coordinates: 44º19’40.0” N 20º31’18.4” E

 

It is recommended to book in advance

Number 2. Restaurant MB in Mladenovac

This restaurant has been around since forever and has, over the years, earned a reputation for producing some of the best roast Pig as well as Lamb in Serbia. It is located about 52 Km from the centre of Belgrade and should take less than an hour to get there by car.

The quality of the roast is as good as you can get but the reason I put MB Restaurant at second place is that Mali Hrast goes one step further by removing all the bones for you. MB leaves that up to you and some people actually prefer it that way.

Some of us go as far as to say that meat on the bone is more flavoursome and, you know what, maybe they have a point.

MB’s roasting method:

As you can see from the picture they roast purely over hot coals. Most of time they have more than one animal on the ‘go’, each added to the spit at timely intervals so that there is always fresh and hot, crispy, juicy and tasty roast for you to enjoy.

Best to avoid the weekends, especially Sundays, since on these days the restaurant, like most restaurants in Serbia, are very busy.

How to get there

Adress: Svetolika Rankovića 111/B, Vlaška 11406, Mladenovac

Telephone: +381 (0) 60 3302311

For satellite navigation

Click on Coordinates44°27’45.4″N 20°40’06.5″E

 

It is recommended to book in advance

Number 3. Pecenjara ‘kod Tome i Nade’

Located on the slopes of  Mount Kosmaj, south of Belgrade. It is the highest point of the entire Belgrade City area and is nicknamed one of two “Belgrade mountains”. Pecenjara ‘kod Tome i Nade’ (meaning; ‘Thomas and Nada’s place’) is the closest place to Belgrade to go and experience an excellent roast Pig or lamb. It should take you, by car, about 45 minutes to get there.

The way they prepare their roast is over coal fired ovens and they excel in both roasting lamb as well as pig.

Very often, especially on weekend days, they will have several animals on spit simultaneously so most of the time there is always freshly cut roast available to enjoy.

The lamb they make is delicious but there are, in Serbia, better places to eat lamb and I will talk about my favourite places for eating lamb in an other post.

Pecenjara ‘kod Tome i Nade’ is best to visit on a warm sunny day because most of the seating area is outside in their garden, which is coincidentally also the best place to sit as you are surrounded by nature. Pecenjara ‘kod Tome i Nade’s garden is perfect for children to play and run around in and is safe because it is fenced off from the main road.

They are busiest on weekends, so should you want o visit on a Saturday or Sunday then I highly recommend to book your table, as well as your favourite cut of meat, in advance.

How to get there

Address: Nemenikuće, Kosmaj

For Satellite Navigation

Click on Coordinates: 44°28’48.6″N 20°33’38.0″E

Telephone: +381 (0) 11 8255155

It is recommended to book in advance

Number 4. Pecenjara ‘kod deda Stavre’

Interior of Restaurant ‘Kod Deda Stavre’

Yesterday, the 10th of January 2021, I discovered this newly opened restaurant and I have to say; ‘Impressive’!Delicious food served in traditional kafana style surroundings with excellent and friendly service. During our lunch a life band played traditional Serbian and Greek music and I was told that most days these musicians are there to entertain.

Prices are very reasonable. A kilo of freshly charcoal roasted & de-boned pork ribs (with crispy skin) is only 2000 Dinars. Add some salads, drinks and bread and its possible for 4 people to fill their bellies for for 5000 Dinars (approximately: 40 Euros/35 US$).

Highly recommended!

How to get there

Address: Surčinska 19d, Belgrade 11070

For Satellite Navigation

Click on Coordinates: 44°48’10.0″N 20°20’26.5″E

Telephone: +381692030000

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and feel free to leave any comments and/or suggestions.

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