He paints, makes wine, cooks Slavonian foods, prepares peka, and is in love with Plešivica. All of this is one man, Mr Martin Petrović, the owner and manager of the Vinska kuća Jana (Wine House Jana) in Prodin Dol. In the enchanting surrounding of vineyards and forests, on the high slopes of the Plešivica Hill, he welcomes guests for excellent foods and accommodation. When we phoned him, announcing our arrival, he didn't hesitate to offer us three or four specialities of the house that we tried on the gallery of his spacious restaurant.
Where could one find Mr Martin? If he is not in the backyard, caring the for peka, he might be found in the wine cellar. It is here where he makes Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Rhine Riesling, but also some local sorts such as Plavec. His readiness to give the best is the basis of his vast offer, as the House Jana is known for parties, weddings, seminars, team buildings, etc. And if the wine makes you dwindle, you don't have to think of driving away. The House offers good accommodation on the top floor, overlooking the vineyards and wooden vineyard houses (klet).
Mr Martin does not hesitate a moment upon our arrival and takes us behind the house to see the peka. A massive iron lid, topped with ashes, and fire in the corner of the traditional baking oven, situated in an open wooden shed, hides one of the gastronomical highlights of the House Jana. It is veal baked under the iron lid, with potatoes and vegetables, a classic but excellent dish so typical for the Croatian cuisine.
But before we indulge into this beautiful dish, we are welcomed by the Mrs Petrović. She is the proud presenter of this region, while Mr Martin sticks to the popular meals of his native Slavonia. Definitely, his čobanac (shepherd's stew) is a masterpiece. Its spicy taste is evident already in red colour. A signature dish of the eastern Croatia, the regions of Slavonia, Baranja, and Srijem, has a strong Hungarian influence, most notably in its use of hot peppers. And while you sweat, don't forget the mild white wines that go great with a spicy meal. Čobanac at Jana's may be done also with lamb chunks and pork. Mr Martin calls it the Erdödy Čobanac, and it is rightly so. Erdödys stem from Hungarian nobility, and the mix is perfected with the local Plešivica wines!
We had other appetizers as well. Another spicy dish is the chicken stew, rich and tasty chunks of ordinary chicken prepared in a specific Slavonian way. And we also had roe deer stew with gnocchi, more resembling the traditions of the Plešivica region. High in the mountain, there is also a hunting lodge, as the area is popular among the hunters. At the same time, we try Martin's Pinot Blanc and Rhine Riesling, but especially enjoy the authentic sort of Plavec, a wine with strong acidity and perfect for gemišt.
And then comes the highlight of the lunch, beautifully baked veal under the iron lid, a mix of flavours and aromas at its best. What is so enchanting about this rather simple way of cooking? It is the primordial oven and a pot, where all the juices are kept inside, and where meat is cooked in its own flavour. Combined just with some vegetables (especially potato) and a pinch of spices, it is a carnival of carnal pleasure. And yes, Mr Martin does it well!
If you want to visit the Wine House Jana, don't worry. It is just some ten minutes drive away from the Jastrebarsko city centre, in a picturesque setting of Prodin Dol, and for further information contact Mr Martin: Prodindol 54, 10450 Jastrebarsko Telefon: 00385 98 281 583, 00385 98 9787 438, 00385 1 6287 372 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org