Lambs and suckling porks are spinning next to the open fire. Perhaps this is the most common image of Lika's places, which are abundant in gastronomic offer, but the pleasure of watching these two delicious pieces of meat slowly turn is part of the culinary heritage of the whole of Croatia. It is especially emphasized in Lika, and in the Otočac area, it is clear which way to go to get to a delicious and crunchy snack. It's the Miki place, in the village of Prozor, an old hangout for lovers of skewered meat, which has been run by the Brajković couple for many years.
The Brajković family has been known for years for their pig breeding and cooperation with local shepherds who sell lambs, after they sold their sheep a few years ago. "Every house in Prozor has a lamb," Štefica tells us as she expertly adds wood to the fire on the hearth, while teaching us that the accent in the name Prozor is on the last syllable. Everything is then prepared in the house itself, most often in front of the guests themselves.
All the offer comes, therefore, from the environment itself, in the nature-blessed village near Gacka, which is proud of its old architecture. Prozor is one of the larger villages in the Gacka Valley, where the border with the Ottoman Empire was once located. On the hill above the town was the Prozor fortress, from where you can see in all directions, the vast Gacka Valley, the river itself, all the hills in the distance. The soldiers staying there had the task of monitoring the movement of the Turkish companies and reporting the danger to the captain in Otočac. The word "window" (prozor) meant a viewpoint and that's why the village got that name!
Who knows what those soldiers were thinking, but we are almost certain that they did not eat suckling pig or lamb from a spit, because these delicacies were reserved for senior officers after all. As everywhere in Lika, the diet consisted of sauerkraut and polenta, dried meat and some wine. These border guards had a great reputation as good soldiers, which was certainly helped by the diet. Maybe they also enjoyed Mr. Piggy, that central part of the table of the poor and the rich throughout history.
Today, this food is considered a real delicacy. Štefica is a true Lika woman, although she does not part with her Zagorje Trakošćan origin, and she tells us that there were also Counts Keglević in her family. In Croatian zagorje, she learned to work with wood from her father, and did so until the end of the eighties, and with the death of her father and the beginning of the Homeland War, the family abandoned woodworking. In the difficult years of the war, they somehow survived, and then began to turn a real Lika's pleasure. The place was named after their son, but in their golden years, the Brajković couple still get up at the crack of dawn every day, take care of the food, in order to give their guests the best flavours and aromas.
We wonder how Ms. Štefica knows that the lamb or suckling pig is ready, given that the colour of the meat looks the same to us. "Between three and four hours the pig is roasted, it depends on the size, weight, fire, wood, you have to have a click in your head", says Štefica proudly, who knows in a minute when to remove the suckling pih from the spit and serve it to hungry visitors like us. She also recognizes the power of fire by experience, and recommends beech wood for kindling. "A dry beech tree is the best wood for a skewer," says Štefica, while her husband brings her another point full of this tree, which is a native white birch in Lika.
We taste the suckling pig and are immediately delighted by the juicy and soft flavours and especially the crispy crust. In addition, we enjoyed the spring onion that is grown right behind the restaurant. Along with the ever-present gemišt, these are the old flavours of the Lika welcome that will forever remain the culinary heritage of mountainous Croatia. With a light summer breeze and a view of rolling hills, as well as mowed fields, this is the dream destination of all lamb and suckling pig lovers! Therefore, go to the well-known address in Gacka Valley:
Prozor 141a, Otočac
+385 99 376 3348