Beef Stew Recipe: Pašticada

Beef Stew Recipe: Pašticada

If you want to try an authentic Dalmatian Croatian dish, you must try the pašticada recipe. This hearty beef stew is cooked with a unique and special sauce that will make your taste buds dance with joy. Here’s how to make it.


  • 2 kg (4.4 lbs) beef, top round (you can also use topside, silverside, or rump). Choose the back end of the cow for best results.
  • 20 g smoked/dried bacon (0.7 oz)
  • 200 g onions (7 oz)
  • 150 g parsley root (5.3 oz)
  • 150 g carrot (5.3 oz)
  • 50 g celery root (1.8 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 20 g tomato paste (0.7 oz)
  • 200 ml cooking oil or olive oil (1 cup)
  • Apple cider
  • 10 g cloves (0.35 oz)
  • 10 dried plums, diced
  • 6 dried figs
  • 2 apples, peeled and quartered
  • 300 ml red wine (1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 Tbls. mustard
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • Rosemary leaves
  • Cooking chocolate (75% cocoa)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • 2 L of milk (8.5 cups)
  • 1,200 g flour (type 550) (9.5 cups)
  • 60 g butter (4 Tbls.) cut into small cubes
  • 20 g of ground nutmeg (0.71 ounces)
  • Pinch of salt
  • A few drops of olive oil



  1. Wash and wipe the meat and then insert the pieces of bacon into it using a knife. Salt as desired, spread mustard over the meat and place it in the “pajc” (a container with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and oil enough to cover the meat). Let it marinate like this for at least 5 hours (preferably overnight).
  2. Brown the meat in hot oil on all sides. Remove it from the pan and quickly sauté the chopped onion, garlic, and vegetables.
  3. Return the meat to the pan along with the red wine and simmer covered for about 2 hours. If required, add small amounts of red wine mixed with water and a touch of sugar (Dalmatian prošek works great as a replacement for this) as the meat cooks – it needs to be tender.
  4. When the meat is tender, add tomato concentrate, diced prunes, and figs along with the apple quarters.
  5. At the end of the cooking, stir in the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme & minced cloves. Add pepper and a little salt, try it and, if necessary, add a little bit of cooking chocolate. Balance the flavor with a bit of red wine and plums to get a sweet and sour taste to your liking.
  6. Remove the meat, cut it into slices, and place it on a heated plate.
  7. Purée the vegetables with roast the drippings and pour it over the meat.
  8. Serve with gnocchi and a slice of lemon.


  1. Pour milk into a medium-sized container and let it boil.
  2. Add the nutmeg, salt, butter, and olive oil.
  3. When the milk boils, remove it from the heat and gently mix with a wooden spoon, add flour.
  4. When you add all the flour, mix it well enough so that it all merges into a single substance similar to dough. After you achieve that, leave it for 3-4 hours to cool completely.
  1. Remove the dough, divide it into two or three parts, shape each of them into a roll, and cut them into identically sized pieces.
  2. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water for 12 minutes and serve as a side dish to pašticada.


Pašticada is a delicious and hearty beef stew that is perfect for a family meal or a special occasion. The unique combination of ingredients and spices creates a complex and flavorful sauce that pairs perfectly with the tender meat. Don’t forget to serve it with homemade gnocchi to complete the dish. Give this pašticada recipe a try and experience the taste of Dalmatian Croatian cuisine.

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