Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Eszter and Tom Lumen in Hungary. We enjoyed cooking this together with them over an open fire at their home near Budapest. I’ve never been able to make it as amazingly delicious as it was that first time, cooked over an open fire in the traditional Hungarian way, but we keep trying!
Ingredients (serves 8):
5-medium sized onions finely chopped
2-whole Hungarian peppers chopped (the long yellow ones)
3-whole tomato chopped
some slices of hot pepper
2 kgs of beef thigh or chuck (beef for stew) cubed
3 carrots halved and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1-2 celeriac (celery root)
6-8 potato cubed
vegetable oil (neutral flavor like sunflower or extra light olive) or pork fat
Hungarian sweet paprika powder
Pálinka (just for the cooks)
Prepare the ingredients as described above. Start with chopping onions, then cube the meat, then chop the pepper, tomato, carrot and parsley. For the real Hungarian method, drink a shot of Pálinka with your cooking mates after each stage is finished.
Add a few tablespoons of oil (or better yet lard) to the pot.
Next pour in the onion and cook it until it becomes glassy.
Then take the pot off the fire and add the paprika powder (2-3 large spoons). Stir and put the pot back to the fire.
Add the meat cubes and stir until they are not red any more.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Then add the chopped pepper, tomato, carrot and celery.
Add some red wine (2 dl) and some water so it has some more juice. Do not add too much wine as it can ruin the taste.
After a few minutes check the juice for taste. Season accordingly.
Keep the pot at a gentle boil, stir regularly to prevent burning.
After two hours check the meat. When it’s about done add the chopped potatoes.
Again taste it and adjust your seasoning.
Serve with crusty bread and hot paprika (dried or fresh) and pickled cucumber. Goes well with red wine.