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Slovak Hash

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 February 2018 at 09:45
Slovak Hash

I don't have any photos, but for supper last night we had what I call Slovak Hash. I'm German/Swedish, but my wife is Slovak, and this dish has a lot of ingredients that remind her of her grandmother's kitchen. It isn't necessarily Slovak, but it probably be somewhat familiar in nearly any Slavic or Central/Eastern European country. Here is how it is made, if anyone us interested:

First, you need some sort of meat. We used two "rings' of Hillshire-Farm-type Beef Kielbasa, cut into rings.; but you can use just about any meat you want: beef, chicken, venison, lamb, sausage, thick-sliced bacon, ham...whatever. The meat can be ground, if you want. I also had a little bit of leftover roast pork, so I added that, as well. You can even do this without meat, if you prefer. Depending on how "lean" your meat is, you may want to add some butter, oil or some other fat; most pork and sausage will render its own fat, as it cooks, so none is necessary.

You will also need:

1 large onion, diced
3 or 4 cloves of garlic (to taste) minced
1 head of cabbage, chopped
Cottage cheese or some other fresh, farmer's-type cheese; strained a bit, if desired.
Salt and pepper

Optional ingredients:

Paprika
Herbs such as Savory, Marjoram or maybe a pinch of Thyme
A chopped tomato or two (summer) or some sliced mushrooms (winter)

I cooked this in a cast-iron Dutch oven, which works really well. You need a deep cooking vessel of some sort, because the cabbage takes up a lot of room, at first.

To start, I browned the sausage over medium heat, allowing it to cook slowly so as to render out its fat; this works about the same if using bacon or other "fatty" meats such as ground beef. If using leaner meats, add some oil, butter or other fat as necessary.

Once the meat is browned and rendered, drain all but a couple of tablespoons of fat and add your onion along with salt and pepper to taste. Cook this rather quickly, stirring occasionally, to the point where the onion is just beginning to brown. Add your garlic and stir it around just for a minute or two.

If using paprika, remove your pan from the heat for a moment and add the paprika at this time; the reason for removing it from the heat is so that you do not scorch the paprika. I used about 3 tablespoons, but a little more or less is fine. Stir the paprika thoroughly into your meat and onions, giving it a moment to mix in well. Paprika is at its best when it is able to "melt" into a little fat or oil of some kind; the reaction is a little bit like heaven. Once the paprika is incorporated into the mixture, put the pan back on the heat, at a slightly lower temperature.

Add any herbs you want to use and the mushrooms, if using; if using tomatoes, wait a bit before adding them.

Add the cabbage and stir it into the mixture as much as possible. It will take up a LOT of room at first, but will cook down fairly quickly and release a lot of liquid. Once the cabbage is mixed in well, cover the pan and allow the cabbage to cook down. Stir it fairly often at first, but less as it cooks down and releases its moisture.

There will come a point when the pot doesn't really need to be covered any more; you will recognize it when the liquid in the pan really starts to build up. At this point, remove the lid, add the tomato, if using, and let the mixture cook a bit, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture cooks off. You want some left, because it will make a sauce when you add the cottage cheese. This step is really subjective and to personal taste; I prefer as much moisture cooked off as possible, but if you leave the dish fairly "loose, it is not a big deal - just serve it in a bowl!

Anyway, once the mixture looks right to you, add your cottage cheese. as mentioned above, you might want to strain it a bit if it is a really "loose" cheese, but that is not necessary. If you have access to Slovak Bryndza cheese, so much the better! Stir the cheese in until it is mixed will with the rest. Then cook the dish a little longer, if you want, to get the desired. consistency.

Adjust for salt and pepper, then serve.

For those of you who are paying attention, this is basically just Halušky without the halušky:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/haluky-s-kapustou-alebo-tvarohom-poda-babika_topic1253.html

It's also similar to various forms of Knoephla, without the knoephla:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/germans-from-russia-knoephla-hotdish_topic4338.html

We really like this a lot, usually with smoked bacon or sausage. Try it with your favourite meat and see what you think.

Ron
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Olyeller View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Olyeller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2018 at 16:09
Gonna try this after reading about it on Handloaders Bench
Ron, this might be a silly question, but wouldn't halusky be good with this, too?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2018 at 08:51
Hey - great to see you over here!

Yes, this would be excellent with halušky (the dumplings) ~ except for the tomatoes and/or mushrooms, it is basically the way we learned to make Halušky (the dish). Very good, and easy on a weeknight.
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