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Székely Gulyás - Pork & Sauerkraut
  -   Székely Gulyas
4 main  
3 hrs  

Székely (say-ki-ee) Gulyás isn't a Gulyás, and the story goes that it isn't from Székely (a Hungarian tribe in Transylvania) - see Note-7. It is, however, delicious and endlessly popular. Technically this is a Pörkölt, which has much less liquid than a Gulyás. If I'm serving this buffet style, I make it just a little more liquid and stir the potatoes in before serving.



Pork (1)
Hungarian Pepper (2)
Potatoes (3)
-- Seasonings
Caraway seeds
Paprika (4)
Sauerkraut (5)
Lard (6)
Stock, Pork
Sour Cream
-- Garnish
Dill, chopped
-- Serve With
Boiled Potatoes
Prep:   -   (20 min)
  1. Trim the PORK of excess fat and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Slice ONIONS thin and chop fine.
  3. Char PEPPERS with your propane torch and brush the skin off under cold running water (prevents annoying curls of skin in the stew). Cut into strips about 1/2 inch by 1 inch.
  4. Peel POTATOES and cut into about 1 inch chunks. Keep in cold water until needed.
  5. Crush GARLIC lightly. Crush Caraway Seeds moderately. Mix all Seasoning items.
  6. Drain SAUERKRAUT and squeeze out remaining juice. Reserve some of the juice in case you want the stew a bit more tart when finished. Spread it out on the cutting board and make cuts through it about 2 inches apart, then the same at right angles. This will keep it from tangling up into a big lump in the stew.
Run:   -   (2-3/4 hrs)
  1. In a well seasoned iron skillet, heat Lard. Bring it up very hot, but not to smoking. Fry Pork in batches until lightly browned on all sides. Place each batch in a heavy bottomed stew pot as it is finished.
  2. Fry Onions until translucent (add more lard if needed). Pour all into the stew pot.
  3. Pour 1/2 c Stock into the skillet, bring to a boil and scrape up the fond adhering to the skillet. Pour all into the pot along with the rest of the Stock
  4. Stir in Seasoning mix, Bring to a boil, then simmer very slowly for about 1-1/2 hours or as needed to bring the meat almost tender.
  5. Stir in Peppers and Sauerkraut. Simmer another 45 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile:   Set Sour Cream out to warm to room temperature and boil Potatoes.
  7. When nearly ready to serve, stir 2 T of the sauce into the Sour Cream, then stir back into the pot and bring back to a simmer.
  8. Check seasoning and sourness to taste. Serve arranged and garnished as desired.
  1. Pork:   Weight is boneless and with all excess fat removed. Shoulder is good here, but leg will do fine as well. Loin is a bit too tender and lacks flavor.
  2. Hungarian Pepper:   These are yellow-green peppers with no or nearly no heat. For details see our Hungarian Pepper page.
  3. Potatoes:   White Rose or similar work well in recipes of this sort. Avoid Klondike Gold type potatoes - they quickly turn to mush with long cooking. For details see our Potato Page.
  4. Paprika:   Please, real Hungarian paprika - not that red sawdust they sell in the supermarkets. The first 1/2 T can be Hot Paprika if you like, the second is added at the end and should be sweet, both for flavor and color.
  5. Sauerkraut: A lot depends on the quality of the sauerkraut. Choose one that's fresh, crisp, sharp and tastes good right out of the jar or bag. I've had good results with Vitarol brand and some other Polish sauerkrauts. Alas, Meter's Wisconsin Kraut is no longer available.
  6. Lard:   If it isn't fried in lard it just isn't Hungarian. Not to worry, lard isn't nearly as bad for you as the deadly trans fats you were told to use instead - and you survived those (we hope). If you must, you can use non-virgin olive oil, or better, Avocado oil. For details see our Lard page.
  7. The Story:   A famous writer/journalist, József Székely, showed up at a restaurant at closing time. All they had left was a little pork gulyás and some sauerkraut. He was hungry so he told the cook to mix it all together to make a meal. He liked it and people started asking for "Székely's Gulyás". That was about 1846, and the dish has been popular in Hungary ever since. As with most food stories involving famous people it's not likely true. Some reliable sources do refer the recipe to the Székely in Transylvania (now in Romania) and a similar Beef Gulyás with Sauerkraut is named for a specific Székely subtribe, the Csángós. According to the Gundel sons, who do attribute the name to Jázsef Székely, this recipe was originally made with three kinds of meat but is now almost always just pork. That conflicts a little with the story too, though not fatally.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar="as required tt=to taste

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