Pork stew in Bakony style
There are several dishes in Hungary that are made in Bakony style, named after Bakony, the westernmost and largest member of the Transdanubian Mountains. It is located north of Lake Balaton and lies almost entirely in Veszprém county. Bakony is a treasure house of various wild mushrooms, this is the reason why Bakony style dishes are always made up of a mushroom-(sour)cream sauce.
The following recipe presents a simple pork stew souped up with mushrooms and a sour cream thickening. Wild mushrooms should be primarily used, if we insists on traditions, but they are not always available because of seasonality, so cultivated mushrooms are also acceptable. It is served with boiled noodles, but opinions vary on its kind: some people think that homemade nokedli is the sole admissible side dish that fits for this stew, others simply use store-bought noodles. I belong to the latter group, I don’t make a fuss about it, the stew is amazing with both.
- 1 kg (~2 lb) pork leg or shoulder, diced
- 70 g (~2,5 oz) smoked bacon, chopped
- 1 big onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 dessertspoons ground paprika
- 2 dessertspoons salt
- 1 l (~4 cups) water
- 1/4 dessertspoon caraway seeds
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 wax pepper, sliced
- 200 g (~1/2 lb) mushrooms, sliced
For the thickening:
- 100 ml (~1/2 cup) water
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sour cream
Fry chopped bacon until it releases enough lard. Add finely chopped onion, a bit later chopped garlic, and sauté over medium heat. When the onion is translucent, add the pork and fry until all sides turn white.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle paprika and caraway seeds over the meat, stir to cover the pork evenly. Pour in water and return to the heat. Bring it to a boil, add salt, tomato and wax pepper. Cook over medium heat until the meat is almost tender. Add sliced mushrooms and keep cooking.
In the meantime make the thickening. Place flour, water and sour cream in a bowl and whisk until smooth and lump-free. Pour the mixture in a fine stream into the stew while stirring constantly. Cook further for 5 more minutes.
Serve hot with boiled noodles.