Gotse Delchev Cured Sheep Leg

Cured meats and meat products - Bulgaria

Ovchi kraka, or ovchi nog as it is called locally, is a cured meat prepared from the lower part of a sheep leg. The legs are washed and salted and placed in such a way that they do not touch each other. They are then dried for 3-4 weeks in a well-ventilated area, after which time they can be stored in cellars. The meat from the sheep legs is served in dishes with string beans or white beans. It is a traditional food of the communities in the Muslim villages near the town of Gotse Delchev in southwestern Bulgaria. The meat is not commercially available, and is instead prepared by families for home consumption. Because of a decrease in the practice of raising sheep in the area, and the availability today of fresh meat from other sources year round, the practice of curing sheep meat has declined in recent years.