How Njeguški steak became a classic dish in Montenegro

Milovan Mića Stojanović is the famous Serbian, not Montenegrin, chef credited with making the first Njeguški steak. He was the private chef of notorious Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito, and he was often tasked with cooking for distinguished guests who accompanied the work, including many world leaders such as Queen Elizabeth II, Richard Nixon and Indria Gandhi, according to to food perestroika. The chef loved to invent his own original dishes and often named them after Serbian regions. The site mentions that during his career he invented more than 100 unique dishes, which is an amazing achievement for even the most talented chefs.

You might be wondering why Montenegrins clung to a dish named after a Serbian national hero, Petar II Petrović-Njegoš? Well, when the dish won the 1986 Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, Montenegro was not yet an independent country. Food Perestroika notes that Montenegrins were “overwhelmed with pride” when the dish gained notoriety and started making it themselves.

However, today the dish can often be overlooked on restaurant menus in Montenegro without a keen eye. Part of this eclipse comes from its similarity to other famous dishes. According to Nomad Paradise, it is very similar to another Serbian dish made with stuffed pork loin, called punjena vješalica. However, if you find yourself in Montenegro, you will know what to ask for when the menus are out.