Borsos Tokány.

This simple beef dish is really only a variety of goulash, with its origins in the traditional kettle cooking of Hungary. Like other goulashes, it would be properly made using pork fat but unlike the others it is spiced with pepper rather than paprika. Legend would have it that the Tokány dishes arose in the region of Transylvania, which could means that this delightful dish may have been a favourite of Count Dracula when he was not sucking the life’s blood from hapless young village maidens. Cream is a non-traditional optional extra. The Count would probably have preferred the original, redder version.

1 tblsp olive oil.
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped.
300g topside beef, thinly sliced.
Salt and pepper to taste.
½ cup white wine.
2 cloves garlic, crushed.
2 tblsp tomato paste.
½ cup cream [optional].
Parsley, finely chopped.
1 ripe tomato, sliced.
1 tsp red wine vinegar.

Heat the oil in a hot pan and sauté the onion until golden. Add the meat and brown all over. Season with the salt and pepper then add the garlic and the wine. Stir through, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and a little hot water, stir through and cover again. Simmer for a further 20 minutes then remove the cover and turn up the heat. Allow the liquor to reduce to the desired consistency. If opting for the cream, add it at this stage, allowing it to bubble for a minute or two to thicken up.

Serve the tomato slices sprinkled with the parsley, vinegar and a little extra salt in a separate dish on the side. Boiled or roast potatoes are an excellent accompaniment.

Serves: 2.

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