Sausage City »

Reviews of sausages.

Sausage City: Beograd Meat Market's Secret Ćevapčići

20121023-sausage-city-beogard-meat-markets-secret-cevapcici-sausage.jpg

[Photographs: Blake Royer]

When you walk into Beograd Meat Market, you might expect, as I did, to find fresh sausage that people talk about in online forums. Beneath the faded peach-colored awning is a spare, simple grocery store with a restaurant attached to it which was supposed to have excellent ćevapčići, an increasingly popular Balkan sausage made without casing, seasoned with cumin, and often grilled.

20121023-sausage-city-beogard-meat-markets-secret-cevapcici-exterior.jpg

The thing is, it's kind of hard to find it once you walk in. With a language barrier and rows of groceries under fluorescent lights, it's highly possible to walk in to Beograd and figure there's not much of anything to buy.

There is a meat case to the left: but it's full of shrink-wrapped imported dried sausage, with not a sign of house made fresh sausage in sight. Nearby, there's a case of prepared hot food, which is tempting and, I can report, delicious—but otherwise, there's just a gas station-style wall of refrigerators full of cold drinks and a few rows of groceries.

20121023-sausage-city-beogard-meat-markets-secret-cevapcici-counter.jpg

When I asked about it, I was directed to a small shelf below the Orangina (of all places), where you can find giant styrofoam trays full of both traditional cevapcici and a spicier version in lamb casings. And thankfully, it's very good (and very inexpensive) homemade sausage.

20121023-sausage-city-beogard-meat-markets-secret-cevapcici-freezer.jpg

Ćevapčići is a basic kind of sausage formed into logs without a casing; it's a bit like kofte as it straddles the line between meatball and sausage, and its name derives loosely from "kebab." Beograd's spicy version (which I couldn't successfully determine the name of) is stuffed into a casing, and is nearly as good, with a strong kick and a smoother, finer texture.

20121023-sausage-city-beogard-meat-markets-secret-cevapcici-cooked.jpg

It's made for the summer grill, but they crisped up beautifully on an indoor ridged grill pan as well, and go perfectly with pita-style bread; the Greek, Turkish, and Mediterranean influences on Balkan cuisine means they play well with a mezze-style spread, like yogurt sauce, hot pepper sauce, and even hummus.

Beograd Meat Market

2937 West Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
773-478-7575

Comments

Add a comment

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: