Grandma’s Homemade Lecsó

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Hungarian food has always been a presence in my life; I can’t remember not eating it. I remember my Grandma spending her weekends gardening; tending to the new Hungarian peppers she had just planted. I always watched my Nan cook her Hungarian delicacies and it fascinated me to see the skill she put into the process and preparation.

I have decided to recreate some of my Nan’s recipes whilst I am at university because super noodles get a bit boring after a while!

Today I am making Lecsó: a vegetable stew of peppers, tomato, onion, Frankfurters and of course, Paprika. I used a variety of different coloured bell peppers to increase the taste of the Lecsó, as well as to add colour to the dish to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Paprika is the secret to Hungarian food, you can guarantee any Hungarian dish contains Paprika. You can either use sweet paprika or hot paprika, but today I am using a hot Paprika.

This dish is my all time favourite of my Nan’s. It was the first dish I wanted to try because since I’ve been at university I have missed it so much.

Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients:

3 tbsp vegetable oil (or lard, if you prefer)

5 medium bell peppers – yellow, green and red, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3 tbsp hot Hungarian Paprika

6 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped

3 Frankfurter sausages

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Add 3 tbsp of oil to a large pot or saucepan over medium heat and wait until the oil is hot.
  2. Add the onions to the saucepan and cook until onions are soft and slightly browned
  3. Add the garlic and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and add 3 tbsp of Paprika and stir until well blended.
  5. Replace pot onto the hob and reduce the heat. Stir in the green, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, salt and pepper and frankfurters. Simmer on a low heat for 20-30 minutes until the peppers are soft and cooked thoroughly.
  6. If the sauce begins to dry up, add a little water.
  7. Adjust seasoning (if needed) and serve with bread.
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