September 30, 2014
We’ve gotten surprise visitors today. Chris and Tom Levy of Abiqua Pumik, made a quick stop to visit us in Delhi, NY, while on their Pumi promotional/educational cross country trip. We’ve had a great evening with fast flowing Pumi conversation during dinner.
The traveling Abiqua Pumis, all eight of them…! have also enjoyed a great romp on the horse pasture, rolling jumping and wrestling in the fall grass.
Time has gone fast, and it has past 10 PM when we looked at the clock the first time. Chris and Tom had to go because they had to meet family in Hunter, NY. We sadly said good bye, however, decided to meet in two weeks in West Springfield, Massachusetts, to put up one of the biggest Pumi shows on the East Coast.
Spontaneous visits are always motivating. After hearing the news of our visitors, Laszlo dove into one of the chest freezers to pull out some home grown “echte” GoatSheepShop lamb stew for an original “Szekely Kaposzta” that loosely translates as “Szekely Cabbage.”
FYI, Szekely is a Hungarian ethnic group living in Transylvania – sort of… (it is complicated…) and Cabbage (Brassica oleracea or variants) is a vegetable – as you probably know. To be more precise, you have to make the stew with Sauerkraut.
Although, fancy cookbooks have some truly frivolous recipes for this iconic Transylvanian stew, I suggest that if you want to get the authentic stuff, than you try this. You won’t regret it and your dinner party will not only survive a twenty four-hour news cycle, but your friends, most likely will post your memorable dinner on Facebook.
On medium flame, saute a finely chopped red onion in Canola oil until it turns slightly golden, lower flame, add a spoon full of sweet red paprika, stir well and add some water to prevent it from burning, add stew meat (traditional recipes call for mix of pork and beef. We use our own shetland lamb stew because it cooks fast remains tender and although it is a lean meat does not get saggy or dry) and slowly cook under lid on medium heat until meat browns. Add rosemary grind black pepper, bay leaves, winter savory, salt and caraway seed.
Caraway is a magical fruit. One unidentified quote calls it “the cure of every disease except death.” It is also called “Persian cumin,” that can easily make it the secret spice behind the tales of “The Arabian NIghts.” (Talking of Persia, it really makes this spice/fruit a truly odd crossroads of Zoroastroism and anti flatulence because of caraway’s anti flatulent properties).
To continue the recipe, Cook the meat and spices on medium flame, stir add water if needed. when meat is almost cooked, add drained sauerkraut, stir well and add some of the juice of the sauerkraut to keep liquid over meat. Do not overcook sauerkraut. Add cooked rice to give body and to absorb some of the liquid. We prefer Jasmati or other non-sticky rice. Serve it with sour cream.
This dish goes well with light white wines, like Gruner Veltliner from Austria. Serve it chilled and always plenty. Enjoy…