Ražanj (spit roasting)

Ražanj (spit roasting)

Although somewhat less varied than grilling, the spit also allows for the preparation of many dishes: from small ones for poultry to massive ones for oxen. Spit roasting is common all over the country and is the main feature of catering establishments along the arterial roads, where spits function as a form of live advertising. Most commonly spit roasted are suckling pigs, lambs and, less frequently, kids. This is a very ancient method of preparing food, being imported to these parts from the East. But in the good old days it was not young animals that were spit roasted, because the scarcity of meat dictated that an animal should reach its full adult size before being slaughtered. Traces of this ancient tradition are still seen in Croatia in the custom of spit roasting oxen, particularly for popular festivities.

 

Central parts of the Slavonian region are renowned for their masters of spit roasting an ox. However, folks from certain large villages in Slavonia, such as Gundinci, prefer a heifer since they know from much enjoyed experience that its meat is considerably juicier. Gentle heat and good meat are the keys to every successful spit roast. Bearing in mind that there are practically no spices involved, the genuine quality of meat is necessarily a major factor. Spit roasting is always a slow process, its rotation being slow and steady. It takes an experienced cook to salt an animal for the spit, while during roasting it is basted only with oil, or melted pork fat, and sometimes with stock, wine or beer.