Spiced Sausages with Red Pepper and Eggplant Sauce
(Cevapcici s Ajvarom)
Mixing the ground meat with soda water and kneading it well helps create these sausages' characteristically springy texture.
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
1⁄3 lb. ground beef chuck
1⁄3 lb. ground lamb
1⁄3 lb. ground pork
2 tbsp. hot paprika
1 1⁄2 tsp. dried savory
1⁄2 tsp. cayenne
1 yellow onion (1⁄2 grated, 1⁄2 thinly sliced)
Freshly ground white pepper
1⁄4 cup soda water
3 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 small eggplant (about 1⁄2 lb.), halved
lengthwise, flesh side lightly scored
7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
Pita bread and sour cream
1. Roughly chop 4 cloves garlic with 1⁄2 tsp. salt; using the flat side of a large knife, mash garlic into a paste. Transfer to a bowl; mix with beef, lamb, pork, half the paprika, savory, cayenne, grated onion, 2 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. pepper. Add soda water; beat with a spoon until tacky. Knead meat with your hands for 3 minutes; cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Knead mixture once more for about 1 minute, then shape into sixteen 3"-long sausages. Transfer to a sheet pan. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat broiler, with rack 6" from broiler element. Arrange peppers and eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer, cut sides down. Rub with 1 tbsp. oil; sprinkle with salt. Broil, turning once, until softened and somewhat charred, 14–15 minutes. Transfer peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to let steam for 15 minutes. Remove and discard skins from peppers. Scoop flesh from eggplant; discard skin and largest seeds. Pulse eggplant and 4 tbsp. oil in a food processor with remaining garlic to make a coarse purée; transfer to a bowl. Purée peppers; add to eggplant and stir in remaining paprika, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set sauce aside.
3. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sausages, turning occasionally, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Serve with sauce, pita bread, and sour cream.