Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hungarian Pork With Sauerkraut



Eastern European countries have many ways to cook cabbage and pork.  My Polish/Russian grandparents cooked a dish called Kapusta that was a mixture of pork, cabbage and sauerkraut.  This dish being the Hungarian equivalent, it has some differences though.  The addition of tomatoes gives it a sweet kick to counter the vinegar taste of the sauerkraut and all is brought together with the ever present sour cream at the end.  This dish is more of a stew than a main dish and is best served in a nice wide bowl.  Leftovers can be frozen.  For the pork, get a cheap cut of meat like a picnic ham.  Use only the meaty part reserving the fat for use in another recipe.  Properly speaking, this dish is a Szekler recipe which originated with the Szekely people who live in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania.  My family descends from this group with Tamasi's being mentioned in various codexes from the 1300's as "Counts of the Szeklers" and having fought hard against the constant Turkish invasions.  The origins of the Szeklers are unclear and it is thought they are descendants of the Avars who settled in that area in late Roman times and were used as a border control by the later Byzantine Empire.  When the Magyars came later and settled Hungary the Szeklers continued their border control responsibilities. This recipe is from the New Brunswick Orthodox Church Cookbook printed in 1958.



Hungarian Pork and Sauerkraut

2-3lbs Pork Shoulder or Picnic Ham, fat trimmed
2 Large White Onions, Chopped
2lb Bag Fresh Sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
2T Lard
2 14oz Cans Diced Tomatoes, Red Gold brand is my favorite
2T Sweet Paprika, Hungarian if you can get it but Spanish works well
3 Fresh Bay Leaves
1tsp Ground Pepper
1C Water
1pint Sour Cream


In a large pot heat lard then add pork and onions and saute until browned.  Add paprika, mix well then add sauerkraut, tomatoes and juice, bay leaves, pepper and water.  Bring to boil, cover and turn down to lowest setting and let simmer for 1-2 hours.  Turn off heat and add sour cream before serving.  Makes 6 generous servings.


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