Spiced Sausages with Red Pepper and Eggplant Sauce

André Baranowski

(Cevapcici s Ajvarom)

Mixing the ground meat with soda water and kneading it well helps create these sausages' characteristically springy texture.

Spiced Sausages with Red Pepper and Eggplant Sauce
These Croatian sausages are skinless and spicy.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 13 lb. ground beef chuck
  • 13 lb. ground lamb
  • 13 lb. ground pork
  • 2 tbsp. hot paprika
  • 1 12 tsp. dried savory
  • 12 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 yellow onion (1⁄2 grated, 1⁄2 thinly sliced)
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 14 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

Instructions

  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.