I promised in another thread to give you guys some pointers on how to use paprika.
Well, here it goes.
First, like any other cuisine has their own basic ingredients (i.e. think of Asian: soy sauce, ginger, garlic can be found in most recipes), those would be onion, paprika, garlic in most Hu dishes.
Different cooking methods result in different type of dishes while using the same ingredients.
The 3 basic "paprika" types are:
gulyas - NOT gulash! If a recipe is called that, you can be sure it has little to do with real Hungarian!
Ok, to make it a bit more confusing.
Gulyas can be a soup (gulyas leves) or
gulyas meat (gulyas hus)
The only difference really is, that the soup has more liquid.
The word gulyas literally means cattle man, cowboy really.
Back in the days they cooked their meals in big kettles on open fire, hence the name.
It all starts with lard or rendered bacon, onions, whatever meat one wants to use, paprika. Caraway seeds, garlic, fresh tomatoes and peppers can be added.
But NEVER any wine or other seasonings.
Here is the method:
Sautee the chopped onions in the fat until they become soft and golden.
Add the cubed meat and brown them with the onions.
Crush garlic with caraway seeds and salt.
Pull the pot off the heat and add the garlic mixture, stir well then add the paprika. Once paprika is stirred in add warm water.
IMPORTANT: always add paprika off the heat, stir quickly and add liquid before putting it back on the stove!
It burns very quickly and becomes bitter othetrwise.
Simmer the meat slowly an in the meantime cut up peppers and tomatoes.
When the meat is half done add those to it and continue to simmer.
So far both gulyas meat and gulyas leves are made the same way.
If you want to make the dish into soup , at this pont you add water and peeled and cubed potatoes along with a carrot and a parsley root (can use parsnip, but careful not to add a lot, it is quite sweet)
Add salt (taste) and continue simmering until meat is tender.
Now you mix an egg with about 3 Tsp flour and cut tiny dumplings of this into the soup.
The basics are the same, lard (or bacon fat), onions, meat,garlic, paprika. Again, some peppers, tomato won't hurt.
The difference in cooking is, that this one has to cook with minimal additional liquid.
The word porkolt could be translated to dry-stewed. Well ,that's probably the closest.
Start the same way, but after the addition of paprika add only a few spoonfuls of water.
Keep an eye on it while it's cooking , you will have gtto add a few spoonfuls every now and then to prevent burning. But never add more, it has to stew in it's own juices.
IMPORTANT: you NEVER add any cream, sour cream to porkolt!
That will make into Paprikas.
In that case, you can add more water after the meat is half cooked, enough to make a sauce.
You will finish it with adding sour cream or cream or a combination of both.
Mostly used meat for gulyas is beef (the more parts of beef you use in the dish, the better it will be)
For porkolt it can be beef, pork, mutton, game, duck.
For paprikas the meat would be veal, chicken or even fish (usualy carp)
Oh boy, this became really long!
OK, I stop now.