October 8, 2014 by Varga László
I had over a friend from France – Robin – very nice guy and a very good blues musician. His plan is to go by hitchhiking all the way to Australia along singing and playing his guitar and harmonica.
He has seen a lot of places and has been in a lot of places, having a lot of good stories to tell. He has been through Hungary but from his recollection didn’t eat tasty Hungarian food. So I had to correct his impression on Hungarian cuisine. I met with some friends with whom planned for ages to cook, gulyas soup in a cast iron kettle over an open fire. This was a very good opportunity to finally do it.
We went to our friends garden unpacked the kettle, set the fire and cooked the delicious goulash or gulyas as it’s called in Hungarian. It was the beginning of the summer on a long Sunday warm afternoon prolonging into the cooler night. In the meantime we had fun, singing talking and drinking beers. As it turned out, it was the start of the open fire kettle cooking – since this time we had another five cookouts at the same venue which (apparently) finished for this year at the end of September. Some of the recipes I already shared, some are still to come.
And here follows the recipe:
Ingredients (8-10 servings):
- 2 kg lean veal, preferably, but you can also use beef
- 1 kg onions
- 2 whole bulbs of garlic
- 2 kg potatoes
- 100 ml rendered pork lard or vegetable oil
- 1/2 kg red/green bell pepper
- 4 tomatoes – about 1/2 kg
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- sweet and hot paprika to taste ( 1 used about 1 tablespoon sweet and 1 tablespoon hot)
- Dice the veal into 2 cm cubes.
- Chop roughly the onion and garlic.
- Dice the bell peppers.
- Dice the tomatoes into 1 cm cubes.
- Clean and dice the potatoes into 2 cm cubes.
- Heat the rendered lard/oil into the cast iron kettle.
- Add to the kettle the chopped garlic and onion and fry, stirring them about 5 minutes until golden and fragrant.
- Add the diced meat and the hot and sweet paprika
- Fry them stirring from time to time for about 15 minutes until the meat has taken a brownish darker colour.
- Add water to cover and the salt and cumin to taste. Don’t use black pepper, all the hotness of this dish is from the cumin and hot paprika.
- Bring to boil and cook over a medium fire for about 2-3 hours until the meat is 2/3 done. It depends on the kind of meat you use and don’t’ forget to stir now and then. Because this step is a lengthy one, you can relax and sing a bit as we did with our recent friend Robin Madier.
- When the meat is about 2/3 done add the cubed potatoes, replenish with some more water to cover and cook for another circa 20 minutes.
- When the potatoes are almost done add the diced bell peppers and tomatoes, add if needed some more salt and sweet/hot paprika to taste.
- Cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes and peppers mostly melted in the pot of soup.
- Serve the soup while hot.
Category Hungarian, Soup, Stew | Tags: beef,garlic,Hungarian,open fire,paprika,potatoes,soulfood,soup,veal | 1 Comment
September 10, 2014 by Varga László
I got a whole duck and wanted to cook it but since it was during the summer season of cooking stews in an open fire cast iron cattle at a friends garden, I looked to make a recipe with sauerkraut.
I bought a whole head of pickled cabbage from the farmers market along with some apples and started to cook, the recipe:
Ingredients (6-8 persons):
- 1 whole medium duck about 2 kg
- 3 medium onions
- 1 garlic bulb
- 1 medium pickled cabbage – about 1.5 kg
- 250 ml white wine
- 3-4 medium apples
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tarragon branches
- Cut the duck in pieces.
- On a smaller fire, fry he fattier duck parts, melting the fat in the pot. When they are golden brown, remove them from the pot.
- Dice the onions and garlic.
- Fry the diced onions and garlic in the duck fat. When translucent add the sweet paprika and stir fry it for another 15 seconds.
- Return the duck pieces to the pot, add the wine and simmer for about half an hour.
- Meanwhile wash the pickled cabbage if too sour, because it can suppress the duck’s taste. Then chop the cabbage in smaller chunks.
- Peal, clean and dice the apples into 2 cm cubes.
- When the meat is half done, add the chopped pickled cabbage, apples and pour water until all the pot’s ingredients are covered by it. Add the tarragon branches, some more paprika, salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer over low heat until the cabbage has softened, stirring from time to time.
- If you like the soups more creamy, add to the plates some cream or yoghurt.
Category Duck, Hungarian, Stew | Tags: apple,cabbage,Hungarian,kettle,open fire,paprika,pickles,stew,tarragon | No Comments
August 11, 2014 by Varga László
On Saturday when I was shopping around the farmers market, there was an old lady selling a goose. I did not plan for goose, having other ideas in mind, but since goose is my favourite poultry and I have not eaten it for some time, plus the old lady was quite sweet, I changed my mind for a goose.
I have talked previously with a friend who has a garden to cook something over the open fire in my cast iron kettle, some goulashy kind of stew. Goose I only cooked before in the oven, so I concocted a paprikas ( a kind if Hungarian stew) recipe to use the kettle. I also have bought some wild mushrooms – scotch bonnets – so I used them too for my recipe.
Me and some friends gathered in the garden, started the fire and cooked until the darkness came.
I used a kettle over an open fire which gives a hint of smoky, fire flavour, but you can prepare it as well in a pot in the kitchen.
Ingredients (8 servings):
- 1 whole goose
- 1 large onion
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 4 large tomatoes
- 4-5 green peppers
- 500 ml cream
- 1kg mushrooms ( I used scotch bonnets, but you can use what kind you have)
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the garlic and onion.
- Cut the goose into larger pieces, about 10 of them.
- Dice the tomatoes and peppers into small cubes.
- Heat the oil in the kettle/pot. Fry the fattier pieces of the goose to melt down some fat and get them a golden-brown colour. Remove the goose pieces from the kettle and set them aside.
- Lightly fry the chopped garlic and onions until golden
- Add the diced green peppers and fry them for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes until they soften.
- Add the goose pieces, fill the kettle with water until the meat is covered. Add salt, pepper and sweet paprika to taste. Cook for about 2 hours until the meat is tender.
- Meanwhile, wash and clean the scotch bonnet mushrooms.
- When the meat in the stew is tender, add the mushrooms and cook another 15 minutes.
- Add the cream and chopped parsley and bring the stew to boil.
- Remove it from fire and serve while hot.
Category Goose, Hungarian | Tags: cream,goose,Hungarian,kettle,mushrooms,open fire,paprika,stew | No Comments