Sunday, April 15, 2012

The ultimate gulyás recipe

Nemzetközi barátok és kollégák között sokszor felmerül a gulyás-problematika. Hogy akkor magyar vagy német, leves vagy ragu, cipóban, lapos-vagy mélytányérban, rizzsel-e, krumplival-e vagy valami tésztával. Lent a saját verzióm, úgy, ahogy otthon és nyaranta láttam, ahogy az alágyújtani szó automatikusan bográcsot és tiszapartot jelent.

 This is how it looks like when ready

Having international friends and colleagues I regurarly get the usual questions about the gulyás. ['Guja:s] If it is Hungarian or German, if it is a soup or a stew, if you eat it in a loaf, in a normal or in a deep plate, what do you serve to it, rice, potatoes or pasta. This is my own version, how I saw it and learnt it at home and learnt all the vocabulary for it. For instance if you say "alágyújtani" it means to start the fire outside under the special pot to be able to make THE gulyás.

If you are a tourist in Hungary and ask for gulyás, you will most likely get a soup. This is the lighter version of the stew with some pasta, potatoes and water added and cooked for another half an hour. 
The gulyás you mean is called pörkölt ['poercoelt] and is the stew. It can be made of beef, pork, chicken and all kinds of inner parts of these animals (not at once, only one sort of meat in one dish). The most easiest is made of pork. 

The original pork stew - sertéspörkölt is made outside on open fire in a special bowl called bogrács ['boGra:tS]. As you can not really adjust the heat and volume of the open fire, you have to be very careful during the whole process. But once did it, the next time it will be peanuts.

 If you are Hungarian and have a garden you most likely have a bogrács in the house. If you don't have it, you know someone who has that. My hometown a long time ago had a major who was really oveweight. He was cleverly playing on this image to be able to get in the news with all kind of celebrity news. So once he announced that he wants to get in the Guiness Book of Records by cooking gulyás in the biggest bogrács ever. So in my hometown in a big square once we ate gulyás from a 1000litre bogrács.
And if you are a tourist around the Balaton lake and order pörkölt or  gulyás soup in a restaurant, you will get it served in a mini-version of the bogács. That looks cool.

So much about history.

To be able to cook pork stew - sertéspörkölt for 2 people at home, you will need the following:

100g of bacon OR sunflower oil for the ones on diet
1-2 normal onion
2 slices of garlic
red pepper powder (the best from Hungary, from the region of Szeged)
1 teaspoon cumin (this can be avoided if you don't like the taste)
400 g of pork meat cut in cubes - the more fat on it the better it tastes
2 tomatoes
1 paprika (white or red, important is that it's sweet)
salt, pepper

HOWTO:  Put the bacon in a large pot on low fire and wait until it becomes fluid. Or heat up the sunflower oil. Cut the onion in small pieces and bake them in the fat. The more onion you use the thicker the sauce of the stew will be. Add the garlic. Add salt Add the cumin .Add 2 spoons of paprika powder (normal spoon, not the one for the tea) and add 1/2 glass of water very quickly. (if you burn the paprika powder, your stew will be bitter! so to be sure, you can change the order, first water, then paprika powder). Cook it till the sauce bacomes thicker. Add the meat and as much water that it covers the meat. Cook it covered on low fire till the meat is tender (approx 40min). If you are sure it's almost OK, cut the tomatoes and the paprika into slices, put it into the stew. The dish is ready when the tomatoes lost their skin.
Serve it with fresh bread or cooked potatoes.


The picures are made by me on the summer of 2007. All rights reserved.

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