The writer and MP, Kálmán Mikszáth, who is often referred to as the Great Palóc, asked János Gundel, the founder of the most famous dynasty in Hungarian gastronomy, to make him a dish that would be characteristic of the region where the Palóc people live and their cuisine. The most widely known village of the Palóc region is Hollókő in the north-eastern part of Hungary, which was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. This fairy tale landscape comprises 58 heritage buildings that are representative of 17th century village architecture. János Gundel managed several restaurants during his carreer. Wherever he went, his regular customers followed him. Mikszáth was one of them.
- Mutton - 1 kg, thigh or shoulder
- Onion - 600 grams
- Sour Cream - 2 ½ dl
- Lard - 500 grams
- Paprika powder - 20 grams
- String beans - ½ kg.
- Potato - 300 grams
- Bay Leaf - 1/4
- Caraway seed and salt - 5 grams
Brown the thinly chopped onions in a hint of lard. Once they’re golden brown, add the thoroughly washed meat, diced into cubes of 2 x 2 cm, together with the paprika powder, the crushed caraway seeds and bay leaves, and let it simmer in its own juice until soft. Cut the potatoes into cubes (same size as the meat), and chop the string beans into 2-3 cm pieces. Cook them in separate saucepans of salted water or stock. Once the meat is properly browned add both the beans and the potatoes, along with enough of the stock to get the same consistency as that of the goulash soup. Mix the sour cream with a teaspoon of flour and stir it into the boiling soup immediately before serving. Sprinkle some finely chopped dill on top. If you like, you can also add a hint of crushed garlic.