Main meat dishes normally consist of a grilled or pan-fried kotlet
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These are usually either pork or veal, and can be prepared in a variety of ways: a kotlet or odrezak cooked na žaru will be a simple grill, bečki odrezak (Wiener schnitzel) comes fried in breadcrumbs, pariški odrezak (Pariser schnitzel) is fried in batter and zagrebački odrezak (Zagreb schnitzel) is stuffed with cheese and ham. Mješano meso (mixed grill) appears on all menus and will usually consist of a pork or veal kotlet, a few ćevapi, a pljeskavica and maybe a spicy kobasica (sausage), served alongside a bright-red aubergine and pepper relish known as ajvar.mixed grill.
Lamb is usually prepared as a spit-roast. In sheep-raising regions (Cres, Rab, the hinterland of Zadar and Split) it’s quite common to see roadside restaurants where a whole sheep is being roasted over an open fire in the car park to tempt travellers inside. One way of preparing diced lamb that’s typical of Istria and the Adriatic islands is to slow-bake it underneath a peka – a metal lid that is covered with hot embers.
Stewed meats are less common than grilled or baked ones, although goulash (gulaš) is frequently employed as a sauce served with pasta, and čobanac (a fiery red stew) is a staple of the southeast. Grah (or fažol in Dalmatia) is a delicious soup of paprika-spiced haricot beans (grah literally means “beans”) with bits of sausage or pljeskavica added.
A main course associated with Dalmatia is pašticada (beef cooked in wine and prunes). The most common poultry dish is purica s mlincima (turkey with baked pasta slivers), which is indigenous to Zagreb and the Zagorje. Other meaty mains include punjene paprike (peppers stuffed with rice and meat) and sarma (cabbage leaves filled with a similar mixture). Arambašica, a version of sarma found in the Dalmatian hinterland, contains more meat and less rice.