Gabor Simon’s Lecsó

hungarian lecsó

The potluck at this past weekend’s Slideluck Northside II was pretty solid. It’s a good thing too, because the stakes were high: the winner of the best dish contest had the honor of taking home a gift card to the Michelin-starred restaurant Meadowsweet. Gabor Simon stole our hearts and our bellies with his Hungarian specialty, lecsó. Lecsó is like a Hungarian version of ratatouille, but with hunks of delicious Hungarian sausage. Gabor made a vegetarian version, swapping the lard out for oil and omitting the sausage. Check out the recipe below. Congrats, Gabor! We hope you enjoy Meadowsweet.

Hungarian Lecsó

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp fat (bacon) or 2 tbsp lard (bacon), or 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 medium onions
  • 3 red peppers
  • 3 hot white Hungarian bell peppers
  • 1 hot banana pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 fresh tomato
  • 1(14 oz) can stewed tomatoes (whole)
  • 1c tomato paste
  • 1tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 dash hot Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 tsp pepper
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1lb Hungarian sausage (Kolbasz – optional)
  • 12 c water

Directions

  • In a heavy, straight-sided sauté pan or a casserole (like a Dutch Oven), melt three generous tablespoons of delicious lard.
  • Prepare all peppers, core, devein and cut into 4-6 long narrow wedges.
  • Cut onions into ½ moon slices. Place onions and peppers into the lard on high heat. Stir-fry until it becomes like a stew, cooked, but still firm; only about 6-8 minutes – no longer, you want the integrity of the peppers to remain in tact and the bright colours to stay. Then, add all seasonings, stewed tomatoes and paste.
  • Adding the Hungarian Sausage: Take 1 pair of Hungarian Kolbász (Sausage) and slice it on the “diagonal” – the visual effect is important. You can add the slices right into the pepper stew and let it stew together if it’s not too dry. Other sausage variations like Debrecen are ideal, but the drier ones, like the Gyulai sausage are exceptionally delicious. Note: if the sausage is too dry – stew beforehand in ½ cup water in a shallow saucepan for 10-15 minutes before adding it to the peppers. (Add both stewing liquid and sausage to the peppers).
  • Let simmer until all flavours are melded; about 4-6 minutes. Warning – when you are stirring, use a wooden slotted spoon so as not to break up the peppers – you are not going for baby food!
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve with fluffy white jasmine rice and/or fresh Hungarian white bread. You can jazz it up or play it down. However you use, it you will find it to be very complimentary with a variety of your favourite dishes.

Image courtesy of Hungary Today

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