Hungarian Sausage Stew

This recipe for lecsó (LEH-tcho), a traditional sausage, tomato and bell pepper stew from Hungary, is made with beer for a deep, rich flavor.

• 8 ounces skinless slab bacon, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch strips
• 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
• 3 large yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
• 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 12 ounces spicy Hungarian sausage (kolbász) or chorizo, thickly sliced
• 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
• 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
• 1 3/4 pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
• 1 cup red ale or lager
• 1 bay leaf
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground pepper
• Grilled sourdough bread, for serving

How to Make It
• In a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, cook the bacon strips over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

• Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until very lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

• Stir in the bell peppers and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer.

• Stir in the sausage slices, crushed red pepper and paprika and cook for 2 minutes.

• Add the tomatoes and cook until beginning to break down, about 5 minutes.

• Add the beer and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over low heat until the vegetables are very tender and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

• Season the stew with salt and pepper and serve with grilled bread.

The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; gently reheat before serving.

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