Pašticada – an Xmas tradition

Pašticada makes a traditional Christmas lunch in Dalmatia, as well as any important family gathering. Each microregion and each cook have their own secret (family) recipe, which may be discussed and disputed at aforementioned family gatherings, especially between more and less “experienced” cooks…


  • 2 kg beef, round steak
  • onion and carrot for piercing the meat
  • 1 kg onions
  • ½ kg carrot
  • a bunch of celery and parsley
  • garlic
  • 10 dkg bacon
  • salt, black peppercorn, 4-5 cloves
  • sunflower oil, lard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1,5 L wine vinegar (kvasina, if possible)
  • 1 L of good red wine
  • 1 L veal bone broth


Cut into the beef chunk on all the sides and pierce it with carrot, onion and bacon, all finely chopped. Put the beef into a pot and cover with vinegar. Let it sit overnight (or for up to 24 hours). Put oil and lard in a big pot and brown the beef evenly. Remove the beef from the pot, add half of the onions, finely chopped, and sauté slowly on low heat until tender. Put the beef back into the pan, and cover it with the remaining onions, coarsely chopped. Add coarsely chopped carrot, celery, parsley, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, honey and salt. Cover and cook on low heat. Add stock, a ladle at a time.
After half an hour, add tomato paste, the remaining broth and red wine. Cook for up to two hours on low heat. When the meat is done, cut it into thin slices and put it in a pot. Puree the cooking liquid and the vegetables and pour over the meat.
Serve with homemade pasta or gnocchi.

Iva Novosel

She sailed away from the island and took a safe harbor inland. Still likes bura and the salt. Cooks for five, eats, drinks, writes, takes notes of everything that comes her way. Always behind and never in front of the camera, she travels in search for new stories, fine people and unforgettable experiences.