Hungarian Sausage Stew with Ale

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

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  • Servings: 6
KEY: Fall, Winter, Trends, Stewing, Game Day, Eastern European, Soups & Stews, Make Ahead, Dinner

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Ingredients

  • 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 this recipe

  1. 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.

Make Ahead

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

Photo © Antonis Achilleos Published July 2012

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