Czech Easter Stuffing (Velikonoční Nádivka) Recipe

Czech Easter Stuffing
Czech Easter Stuffing. © Czech Specials
  • 80 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 loaf (5 servings)
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This recipe for Velikonoční Nádivka or Czech Easter Stuffing is, in part, from the excellent CzechSpecials site. Read more about this site after the directions to this recipe, below. 

There are many regional names --  nádivka is the generic word for filling -- as well as a large variety of recipes for Easter stuffing, though all of them use spring herbs.

Originally, the stuffing was made with three types of meat -- pork, mutton, rabbit, lamb, goat or veal. When the meat from the veal head is used, the stuffing was called "little head".

Sometimes even offal was added, though there are also meatless recipes, e.g., with mushroom. I've adapted this recipe from several that appealed to me.

Check out this somewhat similar Slovenian Easter Ham Loaf Recipe

What You'll Need

  • 1 3/4 pounds (800 g) smoked pork (or a combination of smoked pork and pork shoulder)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of rosemary
  • 11 rolls (cubed)
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 cups spring greens (chives, parsley, young nettles, and dandelion greens, chopped)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter (for greasing)

How to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.
     
  2. In a large stockpot, place the smoked meat and add enough water to cover. Add salt and pepper, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaf and rosemary to the water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Let meat cool in the water, and then cut into cubes.
     
  3. Dice the 11 rolls and put them in a larger bowl. Pour some of the meat-cooking broth over the cubes, as necessary, to soften.
     
  1. Mix meat cubes with softened bread rolls, adjust salt and pepper, add the nutmeg, onion, garlic, and spring greens.
     
  2. Separate the eggs and stir yolks into the meat mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the meat mixture.
     
  3. Pour into a casserole dish or large loaf pan that has been greased with butter. Bake until golden brown -- about 1 hour. If the top is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
     
  4. Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and unmold if baked in a loaf pan and slice. Otherwise, scoop out of a casserole dish onto serving plates. Refrigerate leftovers to be reheated the next day.

Czech Foods Eaten During Holy Week

Throughout Holy Week, something special is cooked up every day (although not necessarily eaten because Lent is still on) in Czech kitchens. On White Saturday, Easter stuffing (nádivka) and sweet buns () are baked. 

On Easter Sunday, which is the culmination of Easter celebration, there were not only various pastries, Judas Buns (, meals made of peas, pučálky, but also meat broth and roasted meat.

And, last but not least, sweet Easter lamb (beránek) cake (similar to Polish baranek) is served as dessert, replacing a real lamb that was for many families unaffordable. Easter Monday menu consisted mainly of egg dishes, symbolizing rebirth. And another Easter stuffing (nádivka) was baked.

About Czech Specials

Czech Specials is a project maintained by the combined forces of the CzechTourism Agency, the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants and the Czech Association of Cooks and Confectioners.

The aim of the project is to raise awareness of Czech regional cuisine, as well as to support restaurants offering traditional Czech cuisine presented in a modern way.

It presents Czech cuisine with its diversity among the regions, various unique meals as well as wide range of their preparation. Czech restaurants can definitely offer their customers good-quality service. Moreover, Czech Specials is also a certificate, granted to restaurants where customers can be sure to get traditional Czech food of the highest quality.