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Typical serving of podvarak
Course Main, side-dish
Place of origin Serbia
Region or state Balkans
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients sauerkraut and meat
Variations Multiple
Cookbook: Podvarak  Media: Podvarak

Podvarak (Serbian Cyrillic: Подварак) is a Serbian dish, popular across Balkans. The primary ingredients are sour cabbage, finely chopped onions and meat, usually pork roast or lightly cooked chicken, which are then combined and baked in an oven in order for all flavors to combine. The dish is commonly seasoned with very finely chopped bacon (typically fried together with chopped onions), garlic, ground paprika and sometimes, but not commonly, tomato sauce or chopped sausage. Bacon is often used as flavoring even when the meat ingredient is chicken or turkey meat. Another description of podvarak is "roast meat en sauerkraut."[1]

The meal is often made in larger quantities for family gatherings in the winter time (it's a common addition to the table at Christmas or family gatherings in the days after Christmas in both Serb and Croat communities in the area), and is used as both the main dish or as a meatless (made with bacon, onions and vegetables only) side-dish.

In Bosniak Muslim communities in the Balkans, the dish is made without bacon or pork, with poultry, beef, lamb and sometimes lamb pastrami or beef sujuk are used as cured, smoked flavoring to the dish.

The dish is semi-related to Polish bigos, both meals probably stemming from common traditional Slavic sauerkraut predecessor dishes, with the main difference being that podvarak is always baked in oven to caramelize meat and sauerkraut for deeper flavor, and it's sometimes baked in sač, outdoors, for additional smokiness.

See also[edit]