Guest Post by Sándor Nagy
Slambuc (“SHLUM-BUTZ”) is a traditional shepherd dish from the Alföld, Hungary’s great plain. It was originally made in a cauldron with only a large amount of lebbencs (a type of flat pasta torn into irregularly-shaped pieces), a bit of pork fat, water, and salt. Some newer recipes also call for bacon, vegetables, and paprika. Slambuc is a heavy meal, meant to sustain the shepherds. My Hungarian recipe is quite similar to the original, but contains sausage and paprika. Feel free to veer from this recipe and create your own version (for example, you could add tomato, or only sausage, or only onions or leeks). When traditionally cooked in a cauldron, cooking time is two to three hours. But on a kitchen stove, it’s around 45 minutes. Like many Hungarian recipes, slambuc is easy, cheap, and delicious. Serve with pickled hot paprika and a glass of red wine!
- 80g (3 oz) smoked, fatty bacon (about 3 thin slices), chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1-2 tsp sweet paprika
- Sausage (dried and smoked), cubed
- 1 kg (2 lb) of potatoes, peeled and cubed
- Salt and pepper
- 300g (10 oz) lebbencs (or square-shaped pasta)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until most of the fat renders. Add the onions and cook on low heat until they become clear and glassy looking. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika, and then add the sausage.
- Return the pot to the stove (medium heat) and add the potatoes, a pinch of salt, some pepper, and a little water (just enough to cover all the ingredients). Cover and cook until the potatoes are soft, but not fully cooked. Be sure to stir frequently.
- Add the pasta and turn the heat up to high. Cook until the pasta is done and all of the water is gone (though if you prefer it a little soupy, leave a bit of water).
A note on the author: Sándor Nagy was my next-door neighbor for a few years. Originally from the Puszta, he recently moved back to Budapest after a few years in London. Though he works in advertising during the day, he is a food blogger and writer at work on many projects including books (his soon-to-be published Great British Cookbook) and a new street food concept that he is toying with. Also, he loves exploring old, forgotten Hungarian recipes. Check out his blog: http://hoditas.tumblr.com (in Hungarian).