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Székely Gulyás is made with sauerkraut and sour cream. Some claim that Székely Gulyás means gypsy gulyás in Hungarian. This is not true. "Székely" refers to a Hungarian-speaking ethnic group from eastern Transylvania. Székely Land existed as a legal entity since medieval times. It became part of Romania in 1920, returned to Hungary in 1940 and was again attached to Romania in 1945. Székelys remain Hungarians to this day.

Székely gulyás is the fast track version of Hungarian Cabbage Rolls. The taste is very similar, but it only takes a fraction of time to prepare. I tend to use round steak, but veal steak or pork tenderloin cooks even faster. It is important that you trim off all the fat and the bones whatever meat is used.

"Székely" could have been my maiden name, had one of my great great great grandpas didn't change his name for Vári. His surname was Székely, lived in the Village of Vári, and he was a Protestant minister. He would hold the service in Vári and then ride over on his bicycle to the next village. Eventually people in the next village began to call him the "Vári pap" [the minister from Vári]. The name stuck. It stuck so well he changed his name legally and our family name became Vári. My oldest brother has the family records.

500 g lean round steak
1 onions, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 + 1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
2 cloves garlic
1-1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained
1 cup canned tomato, crushed
sour cream

• Remove fat and cut the meat to bite-sized chunks.
• In a large pot sauté the onions in 3 Tbsp olive oil until soft.
• Add the meat and sauté until golden brown.
• Remove from heat.
• Stir in salt, caraway seeds, 2 Tbsp paprika and garlic.
• Add 1 cup water and bring to slow boil.
• Cover pot and gently simmer for 1-1/2 hours.

• Add the sauerkraut and the tomatoes.
• Add boiling water (not cold) to not quite cover the cabbage.
• Put in the oven at 350F.
• Finish cooking in the oven (uncovered) for 1 more hour.

• Stir in 1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika.
• Let it cool and place in the fridge for overnight.
• Next day reheat Székely gulyás in the oven.
• Serve with rustic bread and sour cream.



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