Vegetable marrow stew with pork ragout

by | Feb 24, 2016 | Vegetable dishes

Vegetable marrow is a kind of summer squash, it’s typically larger and longer than zucchini, with smooth, thin peel that can range in color from light beige to deep green. Vegetable marrow is low in calories with no fat or cholesterol; it provides significant amounts of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium. In Hungary vegetable marrow is usually served as a soup or a stew, but it can be also stuffed with filling and baked as a main dish. Vegetable marrow stew (tökfőzelék in Hungarian) is often served with pork ragout, but if you find it too weird, it can be a great sidedish for roasts or pork patties.

In Hungary vegetable marrow is not only available during summer, but all year round thanks to deep-freezing. Frozen vegetable marrow is shredded and contains chopped dill or dill sprigs. If you buy fresh vegetable marrow, peel it using a potato peeler, then cut in half and with a spoon discard the spongy middle with the seeds, you won’t need these. You can grate it by hand using the coarse side of a cheese grater or in the food processor.

Vegetable marrow stew with pork ragout
Vegetable marrow stew with pork ragout – photo:

For the pork stew:

  • 500 g (~1 lb) pork leg, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-1 small tomato and green pepper – optional

Sauté the onion in oil until translucent. Add chopped garlic, a few seconds later add cubed pork and cook until all sides turn white. Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle the meat with paprika and stir to cover evenly. Pour in water, just enough to cover three quarter of the food. Return to the heat, stir in caraway seeds, salt, green pepper and tomato. Bring it to slow, steady simmer, cover with lid and cook until pork is tender. Add more water if necessary, so the stew doesn’t burn. When meat is tender, simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes to reduce sauce.

For the vegetable marrow stew:

  • 500 g (~1 lb) vegetable marrow, shredded
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp flour
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 600 ml (~2 1/2 cups) water
  • small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • splash of vinegar

Squeeze the shredded vegetable marrows with your hands until mostly dry if it is very watery. Heat up the oil, add finely chopped onion and two heaping tablespoons of flour, and cook until the roux reaches the blonde stage. Pour in water, add the vegetable marrows, dill and salt. While stirring constantly, bring it to a boil and cook until tender – it takes about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Combine sour cream with some hot liquid, and pour the mixture into the vegetable marrow stew. Flavour the stew with a splash of white wine vinegar or apple vinegar.

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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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