Featuring the most important spice in Hungary.
Paprika is peppers that have been dried and ground. Hot paprika is make from hot peppers; sweet paprika is made from sweet peppers; and green paprika is made from green peppers.
Hungarians recognize eight varieties of their own domestic paprika, varying in colors, heat, and sweetness. Without a modifier, “Hungarian paprika” usually refers to a mild, bright red iteration. Another variation is smoked paprika, made from chilies that were dried over wood fires (as opposed to air dried).
Heat is necessary to release paprika’s full flavor, but it’s also easy to burn, so it’s frequently added to a liquid that gets heated, as it is here.
Hungarian Beef Stew
5 lb. beef
2-3 Tbsp. oil or 1 oz. lard
red pepper (Hungarian red paprika)
For stew we use tender beef… shoulder/blade/leg/loin.
Cut meat into inch cubes. Chop onion and brown in oil. Sprinkle 1 rounded tsp. over it–carefully so paprika does not burn–brown meat a few minutes. Salt, cover meat with water–braise with lid on.
Cook about 2 hours. Add water as needed. Add 1-2 small tomatoes, green paprika, or tomato paste.
I like to put 1-2 cloves garlic–when tender serve in deep bowl.
Garnish: cooked potatoes. Pork stew is done the same way–serve with gnocchi.