Montenegrin Food: The Best Winter Warmers

  • By Luštica Bay
  • 24 Oct, 2014
Autumn, the time of year we all pack away those bikinis and start to hibernate for winter. Less bleakly however, it’s also the season when Montenegro comes alive. From trees bursting with bright colours to fresh seasonal produce, perfect for cooking up a storm.

So, as the nights turn chilly and start to draw in, we’ve collated two of our favourite, traditional Montenegrin winter dishes. Firstly, a delicious and certainly warming dish, roasted ‘lamb under the iron bell’. The name deriving from the special shape of the dish in which the meat is slow cooked in for some hours.

Lamb Under the Iron Bell


  • 2.5kg leg of lamb
  • 1kg of potatoes
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 10 mushrooms
  • 2 large onions
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt
  • 5 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 cup of white wine or water


The method to this rustic dish is surprisingly fool proof as it simply involves putting everything together in the baking pan (part of the bell) or large roasting tin and then seasoning to taste.

  • Heat the oil in the pan and add the herbs and salt
  • Place the meat in the pan and cover with the metal bell
  • Slice the potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots and mushrooms in half
  • Cook the meat in its own juices for 45 minutes then add the remaining ingredients and white wine
  • Bake for another hour and 15 minutes or until the lamb and potatoes are a lovely golden brown
  • Allow the lamb to rest before carving
  • Serve with fresh, chunky bread

Secondly, we’ve chosen a fish dish, one that is particularly popular in the coastal regions of Montenegro. The flavours of this dish truly compliment each other thanks to the wonderful spices and herbs used.

Squid Stew


  • 400g squid, skin removed, scored and cut into smaller pieces
  • 400g chopped plum tomatoes
  • 300g potatoes
  • 45g tomato puree
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • Flat leaf parsley


  • In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onions, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and paprika
  • Add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes, stirring frequently
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer
  • Cook for one hour, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking
  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley to finish

Et voilà there you have it – two wonderfully warming winter recipes for all to enjoy this winter season!

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