Apart from various sweet pastries and cakes, the most typical ingredients on Slovak Easter menu are eggs, ham, sausages and bread. Of course, some Slovaks will go for healthier choices these days, but those who prefer good old classics might choose Veľkonočná baba (Easter Baba) – a dish that incorporates all the above-mentioned ingredients.
Unlike in Polish cuisine, where Easter Baba is a type of fluted cake, and Ukrainian cuisine, where you’ll find a sweet yeast bread under this name, Slovak Veľkonočná baba is a savoury dish. To avoid confusion with the other two, I have chosen to give it another name this dish can be found under in Slovakia.
Veľkonočná pečka (Easter Petchka) is what Susan from the USA asked about last year. Her Slovak grandma used to make it for Easter with rice. In the recipe below, I use breadrolls instead of rice, as this is more common in Slovakia.
- 350 g smoked ham
- 2 smoked sausages
- 10 breadrolls (leftover are fine)
- 2½ cups stock from ham and sausages
- 6 eggs
- about 8 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- If your ham isn’t precooked, put it in a pot filled with water. Bring to the boil, adjust the heat to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Add the sausages and continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Set aside, take the meat out on a large plate and let cool down. Save the stock for later use.
- Slice the breadrolls and dice them. Transfer into a large bowl and pour in the meat stock, spreading it all around the rolls to soften them. Slice and dice the ham and the sausages. Add to the rolls.
- Break the eggs into another bowl. Whisk with a fork until the yolks and the whites are well-combined. Spoon in the milk and whisk together until smooth. Pour the mixture onto the rolls and the meat. Add the chopped parsley and use your hand to combine all the ingredients well. Transfer into a large baking dish and press down with your hand to spread the mixture evenly all around the dish.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and put the ‘petchka’ inside. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown. Take out of the oven and let cool down.
- Cut into portions and serve hot or cold, ideally with pickled vegetables for a garnish.What is a typical Easter dish in your country? Or your favourite one? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.