St. Martins day is the best holiday of the year. Yes, Christmas is great and you get presents, but there’s nothing like celebrating the fact that the years wine harvest is finally ready to drink by eating delicious food and drinking.
St. Martins day is celebrated on the 11th of Novemeber each year, and it’s celebrated around central and eastern Europe, but I think only in parts of Slovenia and Croatia it celebrates the wine, because wine is quite important for us. Luckily, Maribor, the city I come from, is big on celebrating it and ever since I can remember, we had goose and red cabbage and mlinci every year. The menu sounds a lot like the traditional Christmas menu for UK I guess, but there’s an actual reason for eating goose on this special day. The story goes that this lovely lad named Martin was to be ordained a bishop, but because he was a simple man, he didn’t want to become one. So when the officials came to get him, he hid in between a gaggle of geese – but the large white bastards betrayed him by running away and exposing him. So we avenge Martin by eating a goose each year.
Unfortunately, geese are both large and ridiculously expensive (and hard to find in London), so it is acceptable to eat duck, if you’re cooking for just 2 or 3 people. There is however no way you can avoid red cabbage and mlinci, those are a must. (you also usually eat some baked apples and cranberries)
I know, you’ve probably ignored this weird word throughout the post, but its finally time for you to find out what “mlinici” are and I’m even going to share a recipe! You can also serve them with your usually Sunday roast, they are a magical accompaniment for roast chicken for instance. They’re really easy to make, you just make a dough very similar to pasta dough, roll it out, either with a pasta machine or a rolling pin. Then it becomes slightly weird, because you also bake them. And then it becomes magical, because you steam them and then smother them in whatever fat has run off the thing you were roasting.
-350g of strong white flour
-1 tbsp oil (sunflower, but you can also use olive)
– water as needed
1. Mix the ingredients to get a lump of dough. Add just enough water so everything sticks togeteher. Knead the dough for roughly 10 minutes or until it’s quite elastics and spings back when you oush it. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the dough to approximately 3 mm thick. (5 on my Titania). Put on baking trays and bake just long enough that the dough starts to turn brown and big bubbles form. (around 5-10 minutes). *You can do that in the same oven you’re roasting the roast. In this form, they can stay edible for months.
3. Break the mlinci into smaller pieces (approximately 3 – 5 cm), boil some water (or even stock) and cover them with it. Let soak for about 5 minutes, then drain any water that’s left over,
4. Smother in goose/duck/roast fat, serve and enjoy!