- László Bíró, the inventor of the modern ballpoint pen
- Ernő Rubik, inventior of mechanical puzzles including Rubik's Cube
- Albert Szent-Györgyi, discovered vitamin C and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937
- Joseph Pulitzer, famous journalist, publisher and politician Hungarian-born but nationalized American
- Harry Houdini, born Ehrich Weisz in Budapest, American stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts
A tale says that a young Hungarian peasant, who had been forced to live in the turkish harem of the Pasha of Buda, had long spied the palace gardeners cultivating peppers. Once free, she taught the farmers in her village to cultivate paprika.
Thick, heavy Hungarian sour cream called tejföl is often used to soften the dishes flavour. The famous Hungarian hot river fish soup called Fisherman's soup or halászlé is usually a rich mixture of several kinds of poached fish.
Szakácskönyv by Ilona Horváth is a complete cookbook still used nowadays, almost the bible of Hungarian cuisine (szakács means chef e könyv means book).
It could not be better choice because it is a complete meal, tasty and nutritious, and adding/making the traditional galuska (dumplings simply made with flour and egg) it also becomes a nice moment to enjoy with friends.
A fundamental element for its success, but above all to be as faithful as possible to the original recipe, is paprika. Not that brownish powder in prepackaged jars you usually find at the supermarket! The real original paprika, great souvenir hould you eevr fly there, is brilliant red and when you use it glows bright red to your preparation.
I am very lucky to have a dear Hungarian friend who soon became our drug dealer, she can have excellent organic paprika made by uncles/cousins/relatives who still live in Hungary. Each time she comes back from there she smells so good and turns everything she touches in red coral forever! :-)
As for the recipe I entirely followed Agnese's wise words, my dear friend's mom, and for the occasion she pulled out her old recipe book, dated 1956: I was deeply touched while reading it, knowing how many years of cooking life passed by in her hands! And I know that I will be sitting again close to her pretty sure for the next recipes to cook!
And also the props used for the pictures are original from her, as the characteristic red enamel pot, the linen cloth with red stripes and a monogram embroidered by hand, the little man shaped jug called Pista Baci, the shepherd of the Puszta.
Initially, the Gulyàs was made only with beef, but then there was a long period during the Iron Curtain, which was done with the more plebeian pig, since the cattle were more profitable if sold for export. Nowadays it is still often made with both meats.
Better to choose the less noble parts and the fatter, meat will then remain tender and tastier while cooking.
Just few words about the use of lard: once it was pretty lifestyle, cheaper and more manageable to keep, of course people could not afford extra virgin olive oil. Nowadays we can replace it with healthier extravirgin olive oil, or make a compromise between the two (at least once in a while :-) just to recall the original flavors of the past.
If possible, better to use a cast iron pot, as the old drovers' bogrács. But you can do even in the most modern pressure cooker, optimizing the cooking time (especially when you add the potatoes, which will cook only 5 minutes or they will crumble).
The addition of hot peppers and thus the how much hot you like goes to personal taste, though the Hungarians are very spicy addicted.
The red wine in the recipe is a personal addition of Agnese, not provided in the original recipe, partly because the wine was an expensive drink, permitted only to rich people. So you can omit if you do not like, but it gives an extra strong taste.
It is not a preparation particularly difficult, perhaps a more masculine dish that will make happy all men at home very much!
A legend tells that seven princes guided the migration of the Magyars from the Urals to their promised land, the region of the great Carpathian Mountains, following the mythical eagle Turul. During the journey, nomadic knights and horsemen used to keep close to tthem heir old bogrács, the cauldron where they prepared their tokàny (stew).
half a kilo beef muscle
half a kilo pork neck
2 onions, finely sliced
lard/extra virgin olive oil
a quarter of a green bell pepper, diced
half a medium ripe tomato, diced
meat or vegetable broth, 2 or 3 liters
(or made with homemade stock cubes)
800 g potatoes
red wine, optional
- Put the onion to fry in oil or lard (or both, like me :-) and let it cook over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until it becomes transparent and golden, even 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the meat into cubes of about 3x3 cm., leaving even the fat that gives flavor and keeps the meat tender.
- Remove from heat and add two tablespoons of paprika, mix well and put back on low heat, stirring occasionally, so that the paprika gives off its aroma but won't burn.
- After a couple of minutes add the meat and sautée well on all sides, stirring frequently.
- Add salt and a teaspoon of cumin seeds.
- Then add the pepper and tomato, chili and season with half a glass of red wine.
- Add broth and cook covered over low heat until the meat is tender, adding potatoes (cut into cubes as big as the meat) at three quarters of the cooking time: they do not have to be overcooked but remain in cubes and firm.
- Make galuska (dumplings made of flour and egg) as per recipe below, add them to the soup and serveimmediately.
- If you have some Gulyàs leftover with galuska inside, these will tend to absorb the broth, then heat the soup by adding more broth and season again with salt, paprika and pepper if necessary.
Galuska are typically dumplings made with egg and flour to be added to Hungarian soups, mostly Gulyàs.
Simple to do, you just need an egg, a pinch of salt and as much flour as it the egg reuires, to have a consistent dough as shown in the picture (to have an idea about 3 tablespoons per egg).
Break the egg in a bowl, and whisk with a wooden spoon adding flour little by little, stirring vigorously and avoiding making lumps.
You need a special kitchentool (similar to the one used to make German spätzle) and the blade, preferably made in wood so it does not bend. And then a lot of your hand strength!.
Susy told me that an old custom for young people next to wedding time was to have galuska test: the girls were set to prepare the little dumplings by hand (as shown initially in the video, on the wooden board and with a little knife) and the only able to make the smallest was the right girl to marry! :-)
- post about an Hungarian recipe by midnight on June 2nd, 2013,
- add in the post a link to this post and toThe Culinary ABC of the European Community,
- tue of the logo is optional and then
- leave the link to your recipe in a comment on this post,
- old recipes are wwelcome, just update them with the links above.
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