Monday, March 18 –
Full house for this dinner, that’s for sure! We had: Hot Momma (wine and bread), Baby Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine (cucumber salad, wine, and beer), Officially Gangster, ChinUp (goulash), MyBuddy, BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Whew, what a crowd! And we had some seriously good food, too.
I heated up two large pans and put the cubed pork in, browning the pieces on both sides but not worrying about cooking them all the way through. Then I transferred the pieces from the secondary pan to the main large one and added a little oil to the smaller pan and cooked the onions until they were translucent. In the big pan I added in the paprika, crushed tomato, sugar, bay leaves, water, and drained sauerkraut. Once the onions were done I added them in as well. Covered and set to simmer on low until everyone showed up. Once everyone was over I added the sour cream, stirred, and it was ready to go.
The green beans I rinsed and trimmed off the ends. I put them into a large pot, covered them in water, set it on the stove, covered it and turned it onto medium high. I let that boil until they were tender but not squishy. Drained and set aside. In another pan, while the beans were simmering, I melted the butter, added the onions, and cooked until they were soft. I used dried dill and then added the flour. Once that was well mixed I added the rest, let it bubble, and it thickened pretty quickly. I added the beans, stirred, turned the heat to low and put the lid back on.
That’s all four burners going at once! Which meant I had to quickly shuffle the two extra pans into the sink when everyone showed up so that the goulash could be on the heat as well. And dinner was served!
The pork was tender and cooked through after being on low for about 40 minutes. The sauerkraut, tomatoes, and sour cream tasted almost like a vodka sauce for pasta. You almost couldn’t tell it was sauerkraut except for the texture. That with a good crusty bread would be a great warm, filling dinner. The goulash looked tender (I say looked because I didn’t try it, as it was beef) but the potatoes I did nibble on had great flavor and were extremely good. And finally the cucumber salad was a good bright, sharp flavor to cut between the rich flavors.
Definitely a win all around – and all of the plates were scraped clean. Keep these recipes handy!
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4)
Sauerkraut and Pork (Szekely gulyas)
- 2 lbs. pork cubed
- 1 &1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinse and drained
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 2 Tbls. lard or oil (if meat is very lean)
- 2 Tbls. Hungarian sweet paprika (no generic please)
- 1 large can of crushed tomato (or fresh tomatoes peeled and crushed)
- 1 Tbls. sugar
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 pint of sour cream (no yogurt please)
- salt and pepper to taste
Brown the meat and onion (in lard or oil if needed) in a pot with lid. Add the paprika to the meat and onion mix, stir to mix in (do not burn). Put in the drained sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Mix. Cover pot. Cook slowly for about one hour, or until meat is tender. Add the sour cream and stir it in. The aroma will make your mouth water. Serve in soup plates, with good crusty bread, a meal fit for the Kaiser.
Green Beans with Dill (Kapros zoldbabfozelek)
- 2 packages of green beans
- 2 Tbl. Lard or butter
- 2 Tbl. flour
- 1/2 cup of sliced onion
- 1/4 cup of good vinegar
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbl. chopped fresh dill
Directions: Cook beans in salted water till tender, not soft. Melt lard or butter, add onions and saute till limp, add chopped dill. Then add flour making a roux. Add 1 cup of water, sugar and vinegar and stir while the sauce gets thick. Add drained beans, and mix, if too thick add a little more water.