Hortobagyi Husos Palacsinta (meaty Hungarian pancakes)

Hungarians are a proud people and nothing seems to excite their dignity more than food. Meeting peter, a Hungarian restaurateur at his part time home The White Swan in Golders Green, I began to understand why. For Hungarians food is not just about refueling it is de rooted in their history, community and land.

“You try to break the bones of an English chicken in your fingers. Easy. Try and break the bones of a Hungarian chicken. It is impossible!”

he states. clearly proud of his countries poultry, before going on to explain the respect Hungarians have in their land which relates directly to the quality of their food such as their beloved paprika. Here is a very easy Hungarian recipe that involves a little chicken and plenty of paprika.

  • 500 g of ground meat (a mix of either or all of pork, beef and chicken)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Hungarian pepper (any other light green pepper will suffice) finely chopped
  • 200 milliliters sour cream
  • 450g flour
  • 250 milliliters milk
  • 100 ml of fizzy water water
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil,
  • glass of white wine
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • two tsp of ground Hungarian paprika
  • a healthy bunch fresh parsley
  1. Prepare the batter for the pancakes with the eggs, flour, milk, and carbonated water. Add a pinch of salt and whisk until you have a consistency of heavy cream. Cover and let the batter rest for one hour.
  2. Heat a large frying pan and after dipping a piece of kitchen paper in a liitle oil, wipe the whole surface until shiny.
  3. Ladle in the batter and make as many pancakes as you can and set aside. They should be golden and a little crispy at the edges. Toss them if you are feeling brave, otherwise use a spatchula.
  4. In another pan brown the diced onion in a glug of oil Add the meat, two  tsp of ground paprika, salt, the chopped tomato, and the pepper. Add a half glass of wine, drink the rest and braise in little until the meat has browned through.
  5. Now you need to drain of the liquid from the meat into a separate bowl. This can be done through a colander or with a spoon if you are patient.
  6. Add 100 ml of the sour cream to the meat juices and mix until smooth. Pour half of this cream mix back into the meat, stir through with a wooden spoon. Reserve the rest.
  7. Now spoon the meat mix into the centre of each pancake and roll up neatly. Line the rolled pancakes in a baking dish and pour over the creamy gravy that you set aside. Put them in the oven at 200 C for 20-25 min or until slightly crisp.
  8. When serving, add the remaining sour cream on them. Garnish with chopped parsley and a dusting of paprika.

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