100% Romanian traditional recipe: ‘bulz ciobanesc’

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Bulz is a traditional Romanian meal made with polenta and cheese. Bulz was added in the cities’ menu, gaining popularity on the one hand but on the other losing its traditional identity. In most cases, shepherds baked their bulz directly on open fire; it is shaped as polenta balls stuffed with sheep cheese. These lumps of polenta with sheep cheese are also known as ‘urs de mamaliga’ (polenta bear) or ‘gasca de mamaliga’( goose polenta).

The basic recipe is as following: prepare a medium-hard polenta made of:

3 cups of water;

1 cup of corn flour;

A pinch of salt;

Optional you can add some butter.

mamaliga-cu-branza-si-smantana-cm-520x547In a large pot bring water to a boil, add a pinch of salt. Add slowly a handful of cornmeal to the boiling water. Stir quickly to avoid lumps. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Polenta will become very thick while cooking. It’s ready when it comes off easily from the pot. Pour polenta and let it cool for a while.

Next, we take a piece of polenta, the size of a fist, and give it a round shape (approximately the size of a medium apple). Then you fill the polenta balls with butter, chunks of sheep cheese (branza de burduf) or you can add small bits of ham, ensuring that the filling is completely enclosed. Place the balls in the oven or on a grill until it becomes crispy on the surface.

Serve with any remaining butter and topped with the sour cream or next to a fried egg!

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