This is one of a series of posts for Vegan MoFo 2010; my theme was a 'Virtual Random Road Trip', where I used random.org's random geographic location generator to select locations around the globe, I then attempted to cook a few dishes from the traditional cuisine of that place. I didn't have a lot of time between generating the locations and coming up with recipes (~ 1 day). So, lacking time to do proper research, I can't vouch for the authenticity of anything I came up with. However, they are what they are, and it was a fun theme.
Pörkölt is a stew that (according to my very erudite source of information: Wikipedia (j/k)), differs from goulash in that it is braised in the oven (pörkölt means 'roasted'), instead of being simmered on the stove. The recipe I followed is flavored with marjoram and paprika, then braised in red wine. Along with goulash and paprikas, pörkölt is considered a national dish in Hungary.
It's not the traditional main ingredient for this dish (traditionally made with unmentionables), but I thought eggplant (aka aubergine) sounded good for this. The slow cooking allows it to really soak up the flavors of the wine and spices.
The cookbook recommends a Kadarka wine to go with this, which according to this site, is a "light coloured red, normally low in tannins but has vibrant acidity, rustic and raspberry aromas, and a spicy aftertaste that makes it an ideal easy drinking wine." I used a Pinot Noir from Oregon.
Eggplant Pörkölt based on a recipe from Hungarian Cuisine: A Gourmet's Guide
1 large (or 2 medium) eggplant, chopped into large chunks
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
2 medium-size sweet peppers
1 large tomato
4 small potatoes, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup red wine
1 cup veggie broth
1 tsp. paprika (I used sweet paprika)
4 sprigs fresh marjoram, more to garnish
salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300F (150C)
In a large stove- and oven-safe pot, saute the onions and garlic. When the onions start to look translucent, toss in the eggplant and the peppers allow it to brown a little. Add the paprika and toss through. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, marjoram, wine and broth, bring to a simmer, then transfer to the oven to braise uncovered for ~45 minutes. Add salt an pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped marjoram.
Ad Hoc Note: I should say that the wikipedia article states adamantly that pörkölt should not have potato...but hey, I'm a rebel...that, and the recipe I used called for them.
This smelled really lovely in the oven. The taste is rich and naturally smokey from the paprika. The eggplant is soft and flavorful as are the potatoes. It is really yummy; I'll make this again. It would also be nice garnished with a little tofu sour cream, pine nut cream, or what have you.
And in honor of it being Friday, time to slap it up and have some fun with some Hungarian folkdancing:
Oh, and one more thing, here's the next stop:
Bangladesh sounds interesting.