Kavarma and Shopska Salata

Episode 58



Shopska Salata

  • long, thin English cucumber
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper
  • large, very ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled Bulgarian feta cheese
  1. Half peel the cucumber by paring every 1/4 inch or so to create a striped pattern and then slice it into 1/2 inch rounds. Toss them into a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Chop the onion and bell pepper into a 1/2 inch dice and add them to the bowl.
  3. Seed the plum tomatoes and dice and add them to the bowl along with the olives and parsley.
  4. Whisk the oil and vinegar together and add it to the mix. Toss the vegetables untill they are coated with the dressing. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Now place the salad into an appropriate size serving bowl and shower the top with the feta. Chill before serving.



This is one of the most popular meals in Bulgaria which is not so famous outside the country. The ingredients and preparations depend on the region. Almost every part of Bulgaria has it’s own Kavarma recipe. In general, the meal consists of marinated cooked meat and vegetables. It could be mild or spicy depending on the region and the likings. Goes perfectly well with beer or rakia.


2 lbs pork meat, cut into cubes
1/2 cup oil
2 big leaks
1 tablespoon tomato sauce or puree
1 tablespoon paprika
a pinch of crushed black pepper
1 cup red or white wine
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots
2 bay leaves
a pinch of parsley
1 hot pepper


Combine wine, tomato sauce, paprika and black pepper to make the marinade. Add the cut in discs carrots to the pork and cook in very hot oil until meat starts to brown. Take out and soak in the marinade for about 30 minutes. Use the same hot oil to cook the cut in discs leaks, add 1/2 cup water to it and cook while soft (about 5 minutes). Add meat and remaining marinade to the leaks, reduce the heat and simmer until most of the water is gone. Add the bay leaves, shopped onion, and the hot pepper and cook for about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Goes well with French fries or white rice.

Thanks to