Harissa Pot Roast a ‘la Helen

mami kerekenHello Everyone!Harissa Pot Roast a 'la Helen 5

I know it’s been a while, but summer has always been a busy season for me and my cookbooks :).  But I promise I will try to make time for my blog and send you lots of delicious recipes.

Today’s dish is something I made up the other day when I couldn’t decide what to cook  and the end result  proved that you don’t always need a recipe to create a delicious, mouth-watering dinner for your family.

pork slice 1Many times when you see a beautiful cut of meat or find an exotic spice in your grocery store, you  are inspired.  I know I am, and this was one of those times.  Give it a try and I can assure you that you will have another go-to-recipe in your repertoire.

INGREDIENTS (for 2)red onion slices

2 slices of well marbled pork (shoulder or other cuts)
1 large red onion, peeled, thickly slicedharissa 2
3 large leeks (cut off green part and stem, cut lengthwise, wash, thickly slice)leaks new
2 cups of roughly cut wild mushrooms
2 tbsp. olive oil at the bottom of the pan
1 tbsp. for saucemushroom variety
4-5 tbsp. of spicy ketchup
1 tsp fresh thyme for sauce
6 blades of fresh thyme (if you don’t have you may use dry)thyme bright
1 tsp salt for meatsalt talban bright
1 tsp ground black pepper for meatbors bright
1 small can of harissa paste
1 tbsp. Worchester sauce


I used a bone-in shoulder steak for this dish, however you may use any cut of pork that you enjoy, but remember, that it needs to be well marbled.


Harissa Pot Roast a 'la Helen 23Harissa Pot Roast a 'la Helen 22

Wash meat, pat-dry, sprinkle with the salt and black pepper; spread 2 tbsp. of olive oil in an oven safe baking dish.

Spread sliced leeks all over the bottom of the dish; place the meat on top; spread the mushroom all over the meat; sprinkle with thyme.

Harissa Pot Roast a 'la Helen 21Mix together ketchup, Harissa Pot Roast a 'la Helen 19Worchester sauce, 1 tbsp. olive oil and harissa paste. Spread all over meat; add the blades of thyme. Cover with aluminium foil.

Pre-heat oven to 375F and bake for about 1 1/2 or until desired tenderness of the meat is reached.

Serve with mashed potatoes.





How To Make & Serve Hungarian Goulash

mami kerekenHello Everyone!red book with porkolt

Yes, I know I’ve written many times about Hungarian Goulash and this is another one of those posts, but I keep getting e-mails about people confusing Hungarian Goulash (which is called Pörkölt in Hungarian) and Hungarian Goulash Soup (which is Gulyas Leves in Hungarian).

The culprit is Google Translate as for some reason it keeps confusing people by giving them the wrong term.  The other problem is the language barrier.

visit website

So, here I share with you one of my old blog posts and hopefully it will help.

hungarian gulyas cookingThroughout the ages Hungarian food has always fascinated people regardless of their heritage. The most famous of them all is the fiery Hungarian Goulash, the national dish of Hungary. It’s hard to believe that Goulash wasn’t always painted red by red paprika powder.

Herdsmen of Hungary, “Goulash” in Hungarian cooked “Goulash Meats” in their cauldrons over fires on the great Hungarian plains. There were many varieties and none of them resembled todays world famous version.

Hungarians did not know the paprika plant until the Ottomans invaded Hungary in 1526. During the 15th century they brought with them exotic spices and the still loved coffee plant, that made Budapest Café Houses flourish in later centuries.  paprikakak 2

The paprika plant also came to Hungary at the same time. First these beautiful pants were mostly decorative, but slowly it found its way into the kitchens of the Hungarian peasants and the cauldrons of the herdsmen.

They had more contact with the invading Ottomans and learned from them how to dry and ground the fruit of the paprika plant, and started using the fiery red powder to spice their dishes, including the “Goulash Meat”. Hungarian Goulash as we know it today, was born.


Now a little science(don’t worry not much)Capsicum pepper, used to create “paprika powder” is unusually high in vitamin “C” this fact was discovered in 1932 by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was awarded the Nobel prize for the discovery. Much of the vitamin “C” content is retained in the paprika, which contain more vitamin “C” than lemon juice by weight. Paprika is also very high in antioxidant, containing about 10% of the level found in Acai Berries. In my following blogs learn the magic of this wonderful spice as it breaths colour into many of our favourite dishes.
I will share with you the most cherished recipe of Hungarian Goulash passed down from generation to generation in my family. Don’t worry, it you don’t like hot and spicy food, simply leave out the hot paprika.

  • 500 grams of pork shoulder, washed, cut into 1 inch sized cubes
  • 1 large onion, peeled, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, choppedtomato bright
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. of sweet red paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili pepper flakes or 4 slices of fresh
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp smoked red paprika powder
  • 3 tbsp. of olive oilred paprika bright
smoked paprikaPlace oil in a medium stock pot, add onion, tomato, garlic, pepper and sauté for about 2-3 minutes on medium high heat. Add red paprika, smok3ed paprika and stir fast, add meat, salt, hot peppers and sauté for another 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add enough water to cover meat, roughly about 1 cup.
Cook on medium high heat for about 40-45 minutes. Check liquid, if needed add another 1/2 cup of hot water. If you add cold the meat will stiffen. If meat is tender serve with “nokedli” which are Hungarian egg noddle droplets or boiled, cubed potatoes.

“Nokedli” Hungarian Egg Noddle Dropletslisztes zsak
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggseggs 2
1/4 cup of water
1 spätzle maker as seen in video
Place flour in a mixing bowl, add salt, eggs and water. You need to get a sticky batter. Mix with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes. Almost beating it. Follow my video to cook. Place 5 cups of water and 1 tablespoon salt in a large stock pot to cook “nokedli”. When ‘nokedli” floats to the top, ready to scoop out with a draining spoon. You are ready for the next batch. When all done, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to it, mix well and serve with goulash.

potato sack

Boiled Potatoes
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 teaspoon saltwine for sugar 1
4 cups of water

Cook potatoes until soft, not mushy. Drain, place in a bowl, add 1 tablespoons of olive oil, and serve with Goulash. Hungarians also eat Goulash with pickles, pickled peppers or the most popular way is with “Hungarian Cucumber Salad” as seen on photo.



Hungarian Cucumber Salad
1 English cucumber, sliced (or any cucumber)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon saltminced garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons of white vinegar
1.5 cups of water
Slice cucumbers, place them in a glass mixing bowl, mix salt into it, and let stand for about 5 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar, water, mix well and serve instead of pickles. If you’d like it a little more sour add a little vinegar.

You can also make Hungarian Sour Cream Cucumber Salad. sour cream2
1 large English cucumber, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled, sliceddill
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dry dill weed
Slice cucumbers, place them in a glass mixing bowl, add salt, mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes. Now add sour cream, garlic, dill. Mix well and serve.



LECSO – Hungarian Ratatouille

mami kerekenHello Everyone!lecso from my youtube channel

Today’s recipe is an old-time-favorite in Hungary.  There are few ways to make this mouth-watering dish and I will share with you the most popular and original way to re-create it.

I know I said this many times, but you will fall in love with the rustic elegance of this traditional Hungarian dishkolbasz e3.

yellow pappers


  • 4-5 Hungarian white peppers or colored bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green) stems and seeds removed; slicedhagymacska
  • 1 large onion, peeled, slicedcolored bell peppers
  • 3 large or 4 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 long or 2 smaller link of Hungarian sausage (or any red smoked sausage with red paprika, such as chorizo) sliced
  • 1 tbsp. of olive tomato brightoil
  • 3 eggs, whisked together lightly with a fork

no saltTIP

Please remember when you add sausage to Hungarian Lecso, you don’t add any salt because the salt content of the sausage is enough for the entire dish.

Place olive oil into a large skillet; add sausage and sauté for 2-3 minutes while stirring peasant breadonce.  Add everything, EXCEPT  the eggs.  The eggs are put aside after you cracked and whisked them together with a pinch of salt.  eggs 2

Cook dish on medium high heat for about 25-30 minutes or until peppers are soft and the liquid is almost gone.  If you have too much liquid, please cook until it’s reduced to almost none.  Add eggs and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes while stirring continuously.

Remove and serve with crusty bread.


Vegetarians could use veggie sausages or leave out the sausage altogether.


Perhaps one of the most popular dishes of Hungary is Lecso (pronounced: Lecho) or Hungarian Ratatouille with Hungarian smoked sausages, that breath life to this unique and original dish.The interesting fact about Lecso is that accept for the sausages, its ingredients are the bases for Hungarian Goulash, Hungarian Goulash Soup, Potato Paprikash, Chicken Paprikash, Hungarian Fish Soup and many more mouth-watering recipes from the goulash family. All painted bright red by Hungary’s National Spice the Hungarian Red Paprika.


I always like to prepare everything before I start cooking. It saves time during the busy dinner hour. Slice sausages, peppers, onion, tomatoes and chilli peppers. If you can’t find Hungarian smoked sausages, you may use kind of smoked sausages.