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Author Notes: My Hungarian grandma was an amazing cook and I seriously doubt she ever referred to anything as mundane as a 'recipe' She used to tell me cooking was as instinctive as love; it was something that just came naturally. During the cold winter months I find find myself turning to her recipes since they're hearty, simple - and recall happy times in her kitchen.
I was lucky enough to wrestle this recipe out of her and have tweaked it slightly. Grandma's recipe called for a pork leg - but that always left me somewhat squeamish. Instead, I opt for a 2 lb pork loin which makes this simple peasant dish a bit more urbane - and keeps me from having to face pork legs! I also use canned tomatoes rather than fresh since I usually make this in the colder months when fresh tomatoes are scarce (and tasteless!)
If I'm feeling ambitious, I might make some spaetzle to serve this over, but standard egg noodles can be substituted. Otherwise, a nice crusty bread makes an ideal partner for this meal. —Quiche Moraine
pounds Pork Loin, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
Large Onion, Finely Chopped
14.5 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
Green Peppers, Seeded and Cut into 1/2 Inch Strips
tablespoons Salted Butter
teaspoon Hot Hungarian Paprika
pinch Salt (to taste)
teaspoon Caraway Seeds, crushed w-back of spoon
- In 3 qt covered flame-proof casserole, saute onion in butter over medium-high until it wilts (about 3 minutes.) Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.
- Return pan to stove-top and add the pork. Cook until pork is browned on all sides, then remove the pork from the casserole and add to the bowl with the onions.
- Add 1/2 cup water to pan and scrape-up the juices and cooking detritus.
- Add the salt, paprika and caraway seeds. Stir. Put meat and onions back into casserole, then add enough water to just-barely cover the meat. Simmer on low, covered for 30 minutes.
- Add green pepper strips, tomatoes and their juices to casserole. Cover and simmer for an additional 60 minutes, adding water whenever needed, to keep the meat just barely covered with sauce.
- Remove from heat, let cool and skim fat from surface of the sauce. Taste and correct seasonings to taste. (A pinch of red pepper flakes can kick this up a notch!)
- Place spaetzle or egg noodles in bottom of individual bowls, then spoon the stew over these and enjoy.