from Lester Darazs
¼ cup extra light olive oil (or lard, or what ever shortening preferred)
4 cups of onions, coarsely chopped
6 cups of white Hungarian (Gypsy) peppers, or bell peppers, cut to about 1” pieces
8 cups of vine ripened tomatoes blanched and peeled, chopped to I” pieces
2 tsp salt, l tsp coarsely ground black pepper, 1 tbsp of Hungarian paprika.
1 pint tomato juice
1 Ring of Polish sausage, or Hungarian sausage, or Chorizo
2 Tbsp sugar
2 teaspoons or more crushed chile, optional
In a large nonstick pot (about 6 qt) sauté the onions in the olive oil, under lid, until the onions are slightly limp, about 8-10 mm. med.
Heat. Do not brown.
Add paprika and stir quickly to coat all the onions with the paprika, and quickly add the tomato juice, all of the tomatoes, stir to just mix, and spices and sugar, stir and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to mix it all up, and cover, Cook for about 30 mm on medium heat, stir occasionally to keep from burning on the bottom, reduce heat to low and simmer partly covered for another 30-45 mm, or until the Lecsó gets to the desired consistency.
Adjust to taste.
I’m very pleased to see this recipe here, as it’s one of my favorites and I rarely see it. I make this very frequently through the summer and I just wanted to add that canola oil has a more neutral flavor and generally works better in this as it does not compete with the vegetables for flavor. I also have not been happy when I’ve made this with any peppers other than the gypsy peppers and strongly recommend waiting until you can find gypsy peppers (which are not to be confused with Hungarian Wax peppers). Andouille sausage is our favorite for this, and traditionally an egg is mixed into the stew just before serving (it cooks from the heat of the stew), with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top. We do not add sugar, and when I have tried it the flavor just wasn’t right.
Also, the vegetable base (onions, peppers, and tomatoes) is easily canned and then reheated throughout the year (when the tomatoes and peppers are not in season, as summer veggies are really necessary for the proper flavor in this). It is very easy to heat up and add the pan fried sliced sausage and egg. The base can also be used in a variety of other Hungarian dishes to enhance flavor and richness (for instance, it’s wonderful added to Gulyas).
This is truly a gem of the Hungarian cuisine and I’m so pleased to see someone sharing this recipe.
I also love this recipe. it came from a Hungarian friend who comes almost every summer to our farm when the peppers and tomatoes are in season. We make a big batch and can it for use through the winter. It is wonderful!