Bojtárfazék

by | May 17, 2024 | Meat dishes

The recipe of bojtárfazék comes from the cookbook Vadregényes kelet written by Marcsi Borbás. This dish was often cooked in the eastern part of Hungary in the 18th-19th century. Bojtárfazék is a stew made with beef (or pork), vegetables and millet. Millet has had a really interesting journey in Hungary: it had been consumed for thousands of years, in the Middle Ages it was even more popular than wheat in some parts of the country, until it was almost completely forgotten – but nowadays, cultivated millet has reappeared on the shelves of shops and is starting to regain its popularity.

Millet is one of the healthiest traditional Eurasian grains, and is now making a comeback, unfortunately due in large part to the modern-day prevalence of gluten sensitivity. What many people don’t know about millet, however, is that in addition to “new wave” dishes, there are many traditional Hungarian recipes that use it, as various porridge dishes have been part of the everyday diet of the Hungarian population for centuries.

Millet used to be a central ingredient in Hungarian gastronomy, even at the time of the conquest of Hungary, but with the spread of bread-making and the introduction of corn from America, it gradually faded into the background until it was almost completely forgotten; by the end of the last century it was almost only used as fodder for ornamental birds. Millet and the porridge made from it were first used by the nobility in the early history of Hungary, but later it became more of a cheap and nutritious food for peasant families.

As mentioned above, millet is gluten-free, so it’s safe for people with food intolerances, and it’s also healthy: it provides slow-absorbing carbohydrates and protein. It is rich in vitamins (vitamins B1, B2, B6, B17, niacin) and minerals (e.g. iron, zinc, magnesium, sulphur, phosphorus, calcium, etc.). Due to its high fibre content, millet is highly recommended for people suffering from gastroenterological diseases.

Bojtárfazék
Bojtárfazék – photo: zserbo.com
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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