My obvious choice would be to post about a real, authentic Hungarian goulash- I did that already earlier so I don’t want to repeat myself. You can read about some terminology, the method we Hungarians prepare our goulash and about the recipe here in this older post.
Hungarian cuisine obviously absorbed a lot of influences from the countries of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (and vice versa) I always love to read about all the various takes towards a dish, (e.g. goulash) and really enjoy it to stumble upon familiar taste combinations on different blogs. I particularly enjoy Johanna’s or Angelika’s dishes (both Austrian). Look at their goulaschsuppe, fiakergulasch or mushroom goulash.
This time I prepared a meatless potato stew (which btw I hope qualifies for the event) which I really love but don’t cook that often. To tell you the truth, this (no meat) is not very typical Hungarian –at home we would almost always add some smoked sausages or frankfurters. Johanna also has a great recipe –mine is similar but slightly different. Let me introduce you to the Hungarian version, our Paprikás krumpli or potato goulash.
This is so simple –in fact a typical peasant dish which you will often find in the rural areas and family cooking but rarely in restaurants. It’s a favorite everyday dish in Hungary –it’s cheap , filling and a big crowd pleaser. My non-Hungarian friends absolutely love it and ask me to cook it very often. As this is such a simple dish with a few ingredients only, the final outcome very much depends on the quality of the ingredients you use: good quality potatoes are essential (some sort that don’t fall apart)–I like to use the red-skinned ones- and of course some really good paprika –if you have access to Hungarian sweet paprika –that’s the thing . For the absolutely authentic flavor I would use white peppers which I can’t get here (or only sometimes at the Turkish grocery) and a a very tasty (and almost healthy) pork fat from a special Hungarian pig called mangalica (which is highly demanded nowdays, very fashionable and extremely tasty. Due to its high quality and features most of it goes to Spain where it’s transformed into jamón Serrano..)
Recipe (4 servings)
1 kg (2lbs) potatoes (use type that don’t fall apart),peeled and cut into long quaters
2-3 big onions, finely chopped
4tbsp lard (or oil)
3 tbsp best quality Hungarian sweet paprika
2 cloves garlic
1 green pepper, sliced (preferably the white one, if not available, use the thinner skin Turkish green peppers but not bell peppers)
1 fresh small tomato (this one I add only f I can get some really tasty good quality, otherwise I skip it)
Heat lard/oil in a saucepan. Add the finely chopped onions and cook until translucent. Remove the saucepan from the heat and now add the paprika – this is very important as if you would do this step still on the heat, the paprika could burn from the sudden heat and get bitter. Put it back, add the potato chunks and stir so that the onion-paprika mix covers the vegetables evenly. Brown for a few minutes, then cover with water so that the liquid almost covers the potatoes. Add the sliced green pepper, the garlic cloves, the whole tomato (this one will be removed at the end of cooking), salt, pepper. Simmer covered on very low heat until the potatoes are cooked (the cooking time depends on the type of potato you use, about 20-25 minutes). Check sometimes and add a litle more water if necessary, so the stew doesn’t burn. It depends on your taste how you like the stew: if you like more sauce, just add more water during cooking. If you prefer a thick sauce (like I do) and the sauce is too watery at the end, just cook the stew for a few minutes uncovered until the sauce reduces. Serve with pickles (and some great bread). And a good Hungarian red wine.