I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Egede Szegede Gulyas

This dish evolved out of my desire to try out my new slow cooker and my need to clear the refrigerator. I had saved a recipe for a pork and sauerkraut stew that on second look needed doctoring -- and was just a step away from a Hungarian pork and sauerkraut stew my mom makes, but for which I have no recipe. And in addition to the required pork and sauerkraut, I had a few links of andouille left over from New Year's Hoppin' John and some white beans that I had made for MZ, which she mainly hucked from the highchair.

So, I made up this stew, which came together quickly during MZ's morning nap. The beauty of this strategy was that dinner was done by noon (although I missed my shower window), and the flavors got to meld over the course of the day. With its kick of spice from the andouille, it was perfectly warming yet comforting on a winter evening. I used turkey andouille from TJ's, which makes this marginally healthier, but would not quibble with the genuine article.

I didn't end up using the slow cooker, but I'm sure it could be done that way, too -- still staging the addition of the beans and sausage. And although this was pretty spicy, MZ did eat a few white beans. As usual, she declined any meat.

It's named for a toast we were taught in Eger, ancestral home of the Egris, which if said wrong might not be very nice. The spelling is a riff of its own. Oh, and I served this over egg noodles.

2 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1.5" pieces
2 T. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
2 T. butter
2 T. Hungarian paprika
1 jar Bubbe's sauerkraut, rinsed
1 -2 cups water
2 Bay leaves
2-3 links andouille sausage, cut in half and sliced on diagonal
1 can white beans or equivalent home-cooked
Sour cream

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic zip lock Shake the pork pieces in the mixture and brown in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, in batches if necessary. Remove pork to a bowl and drain all but 1 T. of the fat. Add the onion and saute till translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, and butter as necessary to keep the mixture lubricated. Stir till the paprika is dark and fragrant, then add the pork and any accumulated juices, the sauerkraut, bay leaves and enough water to come about half-way up the mixture. Bring to a simmer, then turn to low, cover and braise for one hour. Meanwhile, brown the sausage and drain off any fat.

After one hour, add the sausage and beans. Bring to simmer and cook another 30 minutes, till the pork is almost falling apart tender. Serve in bowls with a generous dallop of sour cream.

This dish has its roots in Eastern Europe, and it packs some spice to boot, so enjoy with beer, maybe Pilsner Urquell or something Belgian.

Riff references: Pilot Guides.com


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