If you look at my About Me page, you’ll see that I’ve listed Lecsó as my favourite food. For those of you wondering what the heck Lecsó is, it’s a Hungarian vegetable stew that is easy to make and super delicious. The recipe that my family uses is from an old cookbook that my great grandmother’s (Nagymama) church sold as a fundraiser. It is an incredibly useful book, but is written with that old Eastern European lady charm which means that sometimes measurements are missing, instructions are vague, and everything calls for lard! I’ve adapted the recipe to be a little friendlier to the uninitiated.
- Cooking oil or bacon fat ( or butter, or margarine, or lard, if you’re feeling really traditional)
- 1 large Onion, diced
- 3 Bell Peppers cut into ½ inch strips (any colour, but it’s tastier with sweet peppers rather than green)
- 3 large Tomatoes, cubed or quartered
- 4-5 Hungarian or Spicy Italian Sausages (optional)
- 1 tbsp Hungarian Paprika,* sweet or hot (optional)
Makes about 4 servings
*Any kind of Paprika will do, but do yourself a favour and get some of the real stuff. You can find it in most European groceries, and Sweet Paprika is pretty common in bulk stores, but then you don’t have the awesome tin afterward
Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with your chosen cooking fat. (The original recipe calls for 3 tbsp, but that seems like a ton to me)
Add the Onion and Paprika and fry for 10 minutes, or until the onions are clear. The Paprika isn’t in the original recipe, and you don’t need it, but I think it adds a nice flavour, especially if you aren’t using Hungarian sausage. You can use the sweet or hot kind, depending how spicy you like it (hot paprika is very hot) and how spicy the sausages are.
Add the Tomato and Peppers. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover and cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes.
Cut the Sausages into ⅛ inch pieces and add to the pot. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
You can use this as a side dish or a main. When I was a vegetarian, I often subbed veggie sausages and even tofu (coated in Paprika) in for protein. I bet TVP or Seitan would work well too. It also makes your house smell delicious!
If you decide to make it, let me know how it works out in the comments!
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