UKook: Lecsó

It's UKook, the cooking show starring international students and their favourite foods from home. This week, Hungarian student Bálint Horváth prepares a stew called lecsó.

2 servings

9 medium tomatoes
1 large onion
2 to 3 bell peppers (yellow and red)
1 Hungarian hot paprika sausage (available at Albert Heijn)
1 to 2 tablespoons pork fat

Bálint Horváth, a 23-year-old master’s student of International Politics, is from Budapest, Hungary. During his bachelor years in Groningen, he learned to cook a variety of international dishes, including some from his family. Today, he cooks a Hungarian dish called lecsó. This well-known stew is a good representative of regional history: it came to Hungarian cuisine from the Ottomans (after the occupation of the Balkans) and has been widely used in other Central European cuisine ever since.

Lecsó is a traditional dish that Hungarian families regularly eat at home. It is technically a vegetarian stew (aside from the pork fat), but Bálint likes to add some Hungarian sausage to the mix. This dish might seem simple or light if you expect a meaty gulyás or a heavier, typical Hungarian dish, so you may choose to eat lecsó with some bread. As you will see, the recipe is very easy.

Coat a pan with a bit of pork fat and allow it to melt. Chop the onions and add them to the pan, stirring occasionally to make sure they don’t stick. Cook them until they turn golden in color. Next, chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan. Stir everything and cover with a lid – let it cook until the ingredients are soft.

Prepare the peppers by cutting them into medium sized pieces and then add them to the pan. Stir again and let the ingredients combine.

Add the Hungarian sausage (skip this step if you are vegetarian). Cut it into small pieces and mix it into the stew. Let it cook covered for 10 to 12 minutes. You will know the dish is done when the texture of the stew is meaty and saucy. Finish the dish by adding salt to taste.

The best complement for lecsó is bread, but you can also serve it with rice or pasta. Or, you can just eat it as it is. Eet smakelijk!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Do you like cooking, too? If you are a RUG student, this is your chance to show off your culinary skills! Contact us at [email protected] with the name of the dish you’d like to make and your availability!