Kotlovina is a traditional fair dish of northern Croatia. There are various recipes for making Kotlovina, but I inherited this one from my family, which has been slightly refined. The recipe is adapted to work in a medium-sized plate (diameter 70 cm) for about 15 people.
- Heat the lard to the frying temperature and place the prepared meat (bacon, chicken, sausages) in it. Lightly fry on both sides, and then place the meat on the rim of the plate to maintain the required temperature.
- In the fat that was previously used for frying meat, now add finely chopped red onion, salt and simmer until it takes on a glassy color. While the onions are simmering, add the finely chopped green peppers and carrots.
- After the vegetables have risen, so they have taken on a glassy shape, we add water. The water is added a little below the edge of the plate, so that it does not spill over the rim after we return the meat. Now add the finely chopped garlic, one tablespoon of tomato concentrate and 3 tablespoons of ajvar. Let it boil.
- In this "soup", add all the meat from the rim (except sausages) to cook together, and add minced red pepper, pepper and if desired. I determine the spices by sprinkling thinly over the entire surface of the plate in which it is cooked. This is cooked until the meat becomes so soft that it is lightly pierced with a fork.
- When the meat is soft enough, return it to the rim of the plate and put the peeled potatoes in the "soup" and add 3 dcl of white wine (not too sour!). Add the sausages to the potatoes and cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked. Occasionally try the taste of the soup to add salt or seasoning as needed. Also, add water as needed so that the level does not fall much below the edge of the cooking plate.
- For a denser cauldron
- Put 2 kg of peeled potatoes and sliced mushrooms, and cook for 15 minutes. Add white canned beans. Add the sausages and cook for another 15 minutes.
The cauldron is served in deeper plates, to fit both meat and juice. Lettuce as a side dish, and white wine or beer as a drink.