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Hungarian Pork Paprikash: a meal you’ll think about for at least a decade

Posted on September 8, 2016

Hungarian Pork Paprikash

In 2006, we enjoyed a memorable dinner at a Hungarian restaurant, Bella Muzica, in Brasov, Romania. Brasov is an enchanting place. It sits in the mythical region of Transylvania surrounded by the jagged Carpathian Mountains. Saxon walls protect the old town, and a gigantic Gothic church rises up from the city’s center.

Brasov

At Bella Muzica, we ate something like we’d never before tasted: pork paprikash. It was delightful. Hearty but not heavy, it delivered rich, tangy, velvety flavor. Tomato provided acidity. Sour cream made it smooth. Tender chucks of pork gave it the taste of home—pure comfort. The memory of that meal has stuck with us for a decade.

Ever since, we’ve been perfecting our own recipe for pork paprikash. Tinkering. Experimenting. Reminiscing. We got it close but not quite there. Ours lacked a little depth, some complexity.

Consider the riddle solved. We recently incorporated an electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot. This amazing culinary device develops rich, layered sauce in mere minutes. A couple of test runs later, we can report, as they say, or at least as Neil Armstrong said, the Eagle has landed.

Hungarian Pork Paprikash

Of course, to have such a sacred thing as a delicious recipe for pork paprikash and to keep it hidden from the world would be wholly selfish. And cruel. And unpardonable. So, allow us to share.

Hungarian Pork Paprikash

Ingredients

  • Three to four pounds of pork loin
  • One yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 16 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • Two bell peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • Six ounces of tomato paste
  • Three cloves of garlic, pressed
  • Five tablespoons of Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup of chopped basil leaves, loosely packed
  • Three stalks of fresh thyme, stripped
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream

Directions

Cut pork into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Turn on “Saute” function on pressure cooker. When hot, brown pork, and remove. Add onions, mushrooms and bell peppers. Once onions become translucent, turn off machine. In this order, add chicken stock, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, paprika, basil, thyme, and pork. Stir.

Cook on “High Pressure” for 30 minutes. Release pressure, or let it naturally depressurize. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream. (Don’t substitute Greek yogurt.) Serve over egg noodles.

Hungarian Pork Paprikash

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