Hungarian Lecso - Pepper, Sausage and Tomato Stew
Here is an ancient dish which originated in Serbia. Lecso is very versatile and essentially, is a stew of onions, various shaped and sized peppers including hot and yellow banana peppers, tomatoes and paprika. By adding sliced Kolbász, it becomes a main dish. Served as a side dish with any breaded meat; veal or pork is a perfect match. Excellent with scrambled eggs for breakfast! Many people refer to this is the Hungarian Ratatouille.
- Ready In:
- 2 tablespoons fat (bacon) or 2 tablespoons lard (bacon)
- 3 medium onions
- 3 red peppers
- 3 hot white hungarian bell peppers
- 1 hot banana pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 fresh tomato
- 1 (14 ounce) can stewed tomatoes (whole)
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 dash hot Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 lb Hungarian sausage (Kolbasz)
- 1⁄2 cup water
- METHOD: In a heavy, straight-sided sauté pan or a casserole (like a Dutch Oven), melt three generous tablespoons of delicious lard.
- Prepare all peppers, core, devein and cut into 4-6 long narrow wedges.
- Cut onions into ½ moon slices. Place onions and peppers into the lard on high heat. Stir-fry until it becomes like a stew, cooked, but still firm; only about 6-8 minutes - no longer, you want the integrity of the peppers to remain in tact and the bright colours to stay. Then, add all seasonings, stewed tomatoes and paste.
- Adding the Hungarian Sausage: Take 1 pair of Hungarian Kolbász (Sausage) and slice it on the “diagonal” – the visual effect is important. You can add the slices right into the pepper stew and let it stew together if it’s not too dry. Other sausage variations like Debrecen are ideal, but the drier ones, like the Gyulai sausage are exceptionally delicious. Note: if the sausage is too dry – stew beforehand in ½ cup water in a shallow saucepan for 10-15 minutes before adding it to the peppers. (Add both stewing liquid and sausage to the peppers).
- Let simmer until all flavours are melded; about 4-6 minutes. Warning – when you are stirring, use a wooden slotted spoon so as not to break up the peppers – you are not going for baby food!
- Serving Suggestions: Serve with fluffy white jasmine rice and/or fresh Hungarian white bread. You can jazz it up or play it down. However you use, it you will find it to be very complimentary with a variety of your favourite dishes.
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100% authentic, thanks so much! I can just point people to this recipe if they ask how it's made. I'm in mourning also about where to find enamel on steel pots and pans anymore. I found only one set and they're not the right shape, I still use the largest one, but that's all. You can find the sauce part of this canned in some ethnic stores, and of course it was home canned also, it's added as a flavoring to stews, or a topping for rice dishes, too. Thanks to the author for spelling Kolbasz correctly, too. Buying that can be expensive, so I either buy Creole andouille or Mexican chorizo, neither is perfect, but better than packaged Polish Sausage. You can also make it yourself if you google it, but you need a smoker. Great recipe!Reply
I Grew up to a mother that made and preserved this every fall!! Ate, throughout the year! I learned and expanded! Yes, but......we were informed, traditionally, nothing but Hungarian Hot Peppers (Hot banana peppers) Magyar Colbas is also a Must! Onion and Tomato!! But, she also swears to have......say.....3 to 4 Sweat Bell Peppers (Yellow, Red or Orange) along with about a a Dozen Hot Peppers! 3 Mid onions. She also added, Hungarian Sausage with the Magyar Colbas! 3-4 cloves of garlic! A ton of Hungarian paprika! Also, either with the pasta pellets, egg, but more likely, with rice! Just loved it!! now, she has 2 sons and a daughter passing it on, and a handful of Grand Kids!! Served with breaded Pork Culets and Bread!! MMMM!!1Reply
I love this recipe, it's delicious. Thank you for showing that the pans are enamel on steel also. In the USA, it's nearly impossible to find such pans anymore. So for most Americans, the time of the onions will be closer to 10-12 min because of the effect of teflon pans. I personally go out of my way to find at least stainless stell pans, but I wish I could easily buy more enamel on steel. If I want a frying pan of that material, I'd have to buy a paella pan. Maybe I'll try to buy from Amazon-France. Anyway, thank you again, this recipe is superb.1Reply