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Pri Kovačniku farm

 

Heaven on the hills of Pohorje

Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the peace, fresh air, unspoiled nature and first-class home-made culinary delicacies in the idyllic surroundings of the village of Planica nad Framom on the eastern slopes of Pohorje.

Members of the Štern family call their homestead Heaven on Pohorje. They say that in a village with barely 137 inhabitants, they are surrounded only by nature and peace.

More than forty years ago, Angelca and Janez opened the doors of their farm to guests, and thus became one of the first in the vicinity of Maribor with a tourist farm. Due to the exceptional natural resources, the many opportunities to spend quality time away from the city, and the delicacies prepared by the excellent housewife Angelca, the reputation of the farm grew rapidly. After three decades of success, the farm was taken over by two young successors. Danilo, the head of the household, is especially proud that the farm is self-sufficient, and he and his wife Barbara are excellent hosts for visitors from near and far.

The whole family is involved in working on the homestead: mother Angelca and Barbara take care of the vegetable and herb garden, as well as cooking and baking. Together, they also create jams, cookies, traditional “potica” cakes, syrups, juices, teas and spreads that guests can take home with them. The men in the family are in charge of processing the meat, such as making traditional cured meats like Pohorje “bunke”, dry salami and “kiblflajš”, a type of meat preserved in lard. They also take care of the cattle breeding, as well as all the tasks in the meadows, fields and forests.

meat dish
Photo: Pri Kovačniku farm archive

A delicious offer of seasonal and traditional holiday dishes

At Kovačnik’s table, there is only room for freshly prepared dishes made from seasonal and local ingredients, so the menus change together with availability, the seasons and holidays.

At your table, you may be greeted by a Pohorje pot, mushroom soup or nettle soup with wild garlic rolls. Dishes that often find themselves on the menu also include blood sausage with sauerkraut, served with potato soup, or leek pie with crepes, mashed potatoes with porcini mushrooms and marigold, pumpkin gnocchi with sage, dumplings with wild garlic, or buckwheat porridge with beetroot. Two of the most popular main courses include tender beef steaks in onion sauce, and the traditional Stephanie roast with Pohorje bunka. During the holidays, the farm smells of holiday dishes, like Easter bread, crackling bread with zucchini, Martin’s goose and of course the traditional Slovenian walnut cake, “potica”, to name just a few.

Photo: Pri Kovačniku farm archive

Angelca and Barbara Štern
Photo: Pri Kovačniku farm archive

Who creates your meal

Joining forces: mother and daughter-in-law

Angelca and Barbara Štern create delicacies from fresh, seasonal produce in the kitchen, which they offer to guests on a plate and in their home store.

They enjoy baking traditional desserts such as “buhtlji”, “potica”, sourdough croissants, biscuits, and of course they love to prepare the traditional Pohorje “gibanica”, a type of cottage cheese cake. The Kovačnik farm is quite well known for its excellent Pohorje gibanica, which they still make according to the secret recipe of grandmother Angelca.