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World’s Biggest Burger


World’s Biggest Burger

Recipe Notes

  • Advance Prep: 1/2 to 1 hour for letting the meat rest.
  • Method: Direct grilling


  • 12 ounces ground beef, preferably ground chuck (not too lean, about 20 percent fat is ideal)
  • 12 ounces ground pork or veal (or substitute more ground beef)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced (for hotter pljeskavica leave the seeds in), or 1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • Grilled Pita Bread for serving (optional)
  • Tomato slices and lemon wedges for serving (optional)

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Combine the beef, veal, garlic, onion, serrano peppers, parsley, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Knead the mixture gently with your hands until thoroughly blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 2: Divide the meat into four equal portions. Mold each into a large flat disk, like a pita bread. Each pljeskavica should be 6 to 8 inches across and 1/4-inch thick. In Bosnia, they’d mold and flatten the burgers right on the work counter. (You pry them off with a long spatula.) You may find it easier to flatten the burgers between two sheets of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Chill the burgers until ready to grill.

Step 3: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and thoroughly oil the grill grate.

Step 4: Loosen the burger from the baking sheet by sliding a slender metal spatula or carving knife under it, or peel it off the waxed paper. Carefully transfer it to the grill. Grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning with a wide-headed spatula. In this part of the world, burgers are served medium to medium-well.

Step 5: Transfer the pljeskavicas to a platter or plates and serve at once with pita, tomato slices, pickled peppers, and lemon wedges for squeezing.