Lecso is originally a Hungarian dish but it is also known and eaten in other countries of the area. The version I’m giving you is a Polish take on it. This is just one way of making it but it’s my favourite way. Other versions call for lard as the fat, which I don’t like or tell you not to add courgettes. This is my version, influenced by the many times I ate it in Poland and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.
This is a dish with so many delicious vegetables that you can just about forgive yourself having the sausage that goes in it too. It’s a hearty, comforting stew and you can make it quite spicy if you like that. Usually served with a slice of bread, although some people like it with potatoes, which always seems a bit weird to me but by all means go ahead if that appeals to you. I’ve eaten it without the bread and it was still filling and amazing. This is also a one pot operation so no hardcore washing up afterwards.
If you come across one problem it will be obtaining the right sausage. Any dry one will do, in the worst case even salami, just don’t use hotdogs. Chorizo works great as does Polish dry sausage. In better-stocked supermarkets or food markets you might come across Debrecener sausage and that is highly recommended for lecso. Good Luck!
a small splash of oil
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1½ medium size (banana size?) dry sausage
3 red peppers
1 yellow pepper
1 spicy chilli pepper (optional)
spices: red paprika, chilli flakes, salt and black pepper
Take a good, rather big pot and once the onion and garlic are finely chopped, put them on heated oil and start frying while you slice the sausage. You want the kind of slices that you’ll be happy to eat. Not very thick but also not paper thin. Add those slices to the pot as well and let it slightly brown while you’re chopping courgettes and peppers into approximately 1cm cubes/pieces.
Once chopped, add them to the pot and stir. At this point the dish will stop frying and slowly start boiling. The vegetables will let their delicious juices run. Put tomatoes in a bowl and pour freshly boiled water from the kettle over them to remove the skins.
Once the skins are off, chop the tomatoes roughly and add to lecso. Add 1 tablespoon of paprika, chilli flakes to your taste and salt. Turn the heat down, put the lid on and let the magic happen for another half an hour.
If you’re just an average person like me, the chopping should take so much time that once you add tomatoes, it shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes before all of the ingredients are soft and cooked through with lots of juice. Add black pepper and serve in bowls.
This amount serves 4.
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