Meal in a Foil (Živánska)

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Ingredients: potatoes, pork, bacon, peppers, onions, celery
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus hour for baking

Here is a recipe for a really awesome and simple dish called živánska. There is really no way to translate the name, since it doesn’t mean anything, so I decided to go with meal in a foil. Because foil (alobal) is a crucial part of this dish. It is often baked in the fire pit during camping trips. The wrapped meal is placed in the hot coals and left there for an hour to cook. You can see great photos of this here.

In that Slovak recipe above (for those of you who don’t speak Slovak), the folks used tomatoes and a whole hunk of meat smeared in mustard. My mom makes this dish bit differently. This is her recipe. We actually made it, along with the soup from bones, while baking Christmas cookies few weeks ago.

We baked this dish at home, so we used a casserole pan lined with the aluminum foil. When you do this, make sure to use much more foil than the pan is wide, since you will need to cover up the top.

Peel and slice potatoes and place them in a layer on the bottom. Season heavily with salt, pepper, paprika, marjoram, and whatever else you like. Then add a layer of meat, cubed. Season heavily again.

Then add cut up onions. Season heavily. Then add more vegetables. We used celery, carrots and green peppers. Season heavily. Add bacon. Season heavily.

zivanska dish baked in foil
Fold the foil over, and then cover with another layer of foil, which you tuck under. Bake for a while, at least an hour. It’s best to avoid checking on the dish too often, so the juices don’t leak out. You may need to season the dish more when ready – despite all this heavy seasoning, it may need more. Serve just the way it is. Enjoy!

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