While visiting EJ’s family during our trip, we were treated to one of the foods I was introduced to early on in our relationship, Rakott Krumpli. This happens to be my absolute favorite Hungarian dish – and when his cousin set it on the table, I noticed some differences right away – first of all, it had a beautiful pink hue (a tell-tale sign of paprika sauce) where I’m generally used to simple sour cream topping, so I was expecting white. Also, it was much more moist in general – very saucy and aromatic, which is different from the somewhat dry casserole that we make at home.
After some translating help from EJ, I was able to learn that it was very close to our regular recipe, except they used mix of sausages, particularly using the local paprika-heavy sausage, and they sauteed the onions and sausage prior to baking, which produced a flavorful grease that was then mixed with the sour cream to give it its color. Of course when I returned home, I had to try it out, so here it is – straight from a family kitchen in Hungary! Enjoy!
Rakott Krumpli (Potato Casserole)Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: EuropeanDifficulty: Moderate
Hungarian potato casserole, full of hearty flavors and perfect for feeding a crowd around the holidays.
1 tbsp oil (any cooking oil works)
1 dozen eggs boiled, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 large onions, diced
2-3 lb sausage, sliced into 1/4 in thick rounds (for an authentic flavor, include at least 1 gyulai sausage)
5 lb gold potatoes (you can use russets, but the golds are more authentic)
2 15oz containers sour cream
Salt to taste
- Peel all of the potatoes and place them whole into a large stockpot. Cover with water, add salt, and heat to boiling. Boil potatoes until a probe (I use a thermometer probe, but a wooden skewer works too) can be inserted all the way to the center of the potatoes. Do not overcook. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool.
- While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a large pan, then add the onions and sliced sausage and cover. Saute the onions and sausage with the cover on (stirring occasionally) until the onions are soft and the sausage has released a couple of tablespoons of grease, then remove from heat.
- Transfer onions and sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Then pour the remaining grease into another bowl with the sour cream and mix thoroughly.
- Slice cooked potatoes into 1/2 in thick rounds (if overcooked, they won’t slice, they’ll just turn to mush)
- Now that you have all of your ingredients prepped, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large, deep casserole dish (I use a lasagna pan), start by spreading a little bit of the sausage mixture on the bottom of the pan. This first layer doesn’t have to fully cover the bottom – it’s just to keep the potatoes from burning on the bottom. Now add a layer of sliced potatoes. Then smear a layer of sour cream over the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, then add a layer of boiled eggs.
- Repeat the layers one more time (sausage/onion, potatoes, sour cream, salt, eggs). Then add one last layer of sausage, potatoes, sour cream and salt.
- Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 30 mins.
- Set oven to broil and watch the casserole to just get the top to brown (not burn). Remove from oven and serve.