Leskovac took its name long ago from its famed hazelnut woods, lešnik being the Serbian word for hazelnut. Today it is better know for its red peppers. The people of Leskovac speak a dialect of Serbian which preserves many features of the Old Church Slavonic language and even many Serbs find the local difficult to understand.
Ajvar is known throughout the land and beyond as the name for a preparation of roast peppers, preserved in jars for use throughout the winter. Leskovac is also known for its fantastic barbecue meats: you’ll probably arrive in the town by car or bus, but once there you must try the Leskovac Train (leskovački voz), an assortment of grilled meats which arrive at the table one after another like wagons. Nor should you overlook Leskovačka Mućkalica, a spicy medley of peppers and grilled meats, much prized among gourmets for its spicy flavour.
Cut the meat into cubes and make kebabs, salt them, brush with oil and then barbecue. While the meat is cooking, chop the bacon into small cubes and fry gently until the fat melts, then add the onion and fry gently in the bacon fat until it falls apart. Add the chopped red pepper. Remove the meat from the skewers, add to the pan and cook gently until the meat is tender and the sauce has come together. Add the tomato and cook a few minutes more. When finished, add the finely chopped garlic and ground peppers. Add hot chilli powder if desired.
Serve with home-made bread or rolls.