The lécso is a typical Hungarian vegetable stew, usually with the addition of sausage. It’s a very simple but tasty recipe, and it can be found in several different recipes through the country. Moreover is a very common dish also in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia but also in some parts of Germany (obviously with local variations). Also in other countries there are similar recipes based on peppers, for example in Italy we have “peperonata” and in France the “ratatouille” (but these two both made only with vegetables). But now I’m going to show the Hungarian recipe 🙂
As for other traditional recipes there is not just one recipe for it, I guess in every house there is a different favorite recipe, so some ingredients can vary, and some procedures too.
We prefer to reduce the quantity of lard (“zsir“) compared to many other recipes, considering there is also the sausage (and honestly I like also the version with just extra virgin olive oil, but that’s no more Lecsò but something more similar to the Italian peperonata).
Moreover, lécso can be made with smoked sausage (kolbász) or with scrambled eggs (someone like to use both, I prefer just with the sausage), but what I didn’t know and I discovered in an older book is the option to use also rice as an alternative: it never happened to me to see it until now, and sincerely I don’t like the idea, but that’s also an option in the Hungarian tradition.
Pepper: the best choice to be faithful to the Hungarian tradition is to use the Hungarian wax pepper (Zöldpaprika), this is the most common choice in Hungary and this is what we used. But also other peppers can work well too, and add extra flavor.
Sausage: a smoked spicy sausage (csípős füstölt kolbász), but I suggest not to use a too much smoked sausage so you won’t cover too much the vegetables flavor. Moreover for the best results the sausage should be also soft, not too much dry/aged.
INGREDIENTS (2 people):
- 500 g of peppers (I used mostly Hungarian wax pepper and a couple of other types, to have more flavors…personally I prefer bell peppers)
- 1 medium size golden onion
- 3-4 nice and ripe tomatoes
- 25-30 g of lard (“zsir” or some “szalonna”)
- 80-100 g of smoked spicy sausage
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika powder
- First of all cut the peppers into pieces (not too small), then cut the tomatoes and remove the seeds (if you would like you cook previously boil them very fast and remove the peel too). Cut also the onion.
- Take a pan and heat the fat.
- When the fat is hot enough add the onion, 5 minutes later add the pepper and cook until softer. When they are softer remove from the heat and add the paprika in powder, and mix it well.
- Then bring the pan back to the heat and now add the tomato. When the tomato has become more like a sauce add the sausage cut into slices, season with salt and cook for other few minutes, to give the flavor to the whole dish.
- It’s ready 🙂 and serve it with a good bread, to clean the dish at the end!