Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rakott Krumpli (Hungarian Potato Casserole)

I'm sorry I didn't take a studio food porn shot of this dish but when I made it we had come home late from work and were very hungry.  I had been looking for something different for dinner and had found this recipe on a list of "Top Ten Hungarian Foods to Try" on some website or another.  Every culture has their own version of potato casserole but this one intrigued me as it is a breakfasty dish you eat for dinner.  It falls into the category of Hungarian comfort food and as such is not in the least healthy but hey, we can't munch kale chips all the time.

The biggest roadblock I found in making this recipe was that literally 99% of the recipes for it are in Hungarian, one of the most complicated languages known to man.  Of the English ones I found the ingredients were not true to form from the original Hungarian recipe.  There are 3 ingredients that will be nigh on impossible to find unless you live somewhere with a large Hungarian community, Tejfol or Hungarian Sour Cream, Kolbas or Hungarian Sausage and Trappist Cheese.

I found workarounds for all these ingredients, in the case of the Tejfol you buy organic sour cream or a local dairy sour cream.  Tejfol is has a higher fat content compared to American sour cream.  Kolbas can be substituted with a good smoked sausage.  Trappist cheese is the easiest albeit most expensive thing to find.  Just look for Port Salut as they are same cheese.  I have also had good success using Cream Havarti cheese in this recipe.

Rakott Krumpli

2 1/2 Lbs of Red Potatoes,  peeled and sliced 1/4" thick lengthwise
2 1/3C  Sour Cream
6 Large Eggs, hard boiled, peeled and sliced
8oz Sausage
8oz Port Salut Cheese, wax rind scraped off and cheese sliced thin
1/4C diced Hog Jowl Bacon or Szlonna Bacon (Optional)

In pot bring sliced potatoes to a boil in salted water and simmer 10 mins.  Drain in colander and allow to cool.  Slice the sausage thinly and set aside.  Season your sour cream to taste with salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 350°.  Prepare a deep casserole dish by liberally coating inside with salted butter or spread evenly with your diced bacon.  Start the dish with a layer of potato, then a layer sliced hard boiled eggs, then sausage and finally a thin layer of sour cream.  Repeat this once then finish with the rest of the potatoes then the rest of the sour cream and finally top with the sliced cheese.  Place in oven and bake 45 minutes then raise the temperature to 400° and bake a final 20 minutes.  Serve hot with some thin sour cream on the side.


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