Today, I decided to write a post about pörkölt - the popular Hungarian favorite in the goulash family. This slow-cooked stew-like dish is perfect fall fare. I chopped up the ingredients, sautéd the onion, added the paprika, and mixed everything in a big pan. When finished, I would take photos for the blog. Well, that was the plan.
When the pörkölt was done, I picked up a wooden spoon and tasted it. Yum! Then I took a second bite. Mmm! Then another. Hungarian heaven! Quickly, my pörkölt was disappearing. I should have known better. For me, eating pörkölt is like eating pototo chips, peanuts, or popcorn at the movies. Once I start, I don’t stop.
Well, I couldn’t post photos of a near-empty pan. So, I spooned what was left into a bowl, but that looked pretty sad. What to do? I tried smothering the pörkölt with garnishes of peppers, parsley, and tomatoes to fill up the space. I pushed the pörkölt pieces around to make it look fuller. I contemplated removing it all, setting a sponge or a can of tuna into the bowl then ladling it back on top. In the end I decided to take really close shots so you wouldn’t see how little was left and call me a pörkölt pig. Lesson learned: Never prepare a blog post when hungry – especially when writing about pörkölt.
Sertéspörkölt (pork pörkölt) from Culinaria Hungary
Ingredients: 1 3/4 lb/800 g pork (leg or shoulder), 1 large onion, 2-3 bell peppers, 1 large tomato, 2 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp ground paprika, salt.
Directions: Cut the meat into 3/4 inch/2 cm cubes. Finely chop onion. Seed and chop the bell peppers. Cut the tomato into 8 pieces. Sauté the onion in the oil, and remove from the heat. Add the peppers and the meat. Return to the heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring continuously. Season with salt, then add the paprika and pieces of tomato. Cover, and leave to cook in its own joices. If necessary, replace any of the juices that evaporate with a little warm water. Serve with dumplings or pasta. Enjoy!