Pork, paprika, and potatoes are familiar partners in many a Hungarian stew. I Americanized the mix by adding turnips, which harmonize merrily with all the other ingredients. You’ll need 50 minutes only for dinner to be ready, from the time you begin preparing the ingredients to the time you remove the lid of the pot.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
4 medium-size boiling potatoes (about 1 pound)
4 medium-size white turnips (about 1 pound)
1 to 1½ pounds boneless pork shoulder or picnic shoulder
2 bell peppers, preferably red
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
½ cup to 2 cups beef broth or water (depending on type of pressure cooker you own)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh dill or mint (optional)
Plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
1. Peel the potatoes and turnips and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Trim the fat from the pork and cut the meat into 1½-inch cubes. Thinly slice the onion. Core, seed, and thinly slice the peppers.
2. Combine all the ingredients except for the salt, pepper, dill, and yogurt in your pressure cooker. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pressure cooker, lock the lid, and slowly bring to full pressure. Cook at full pressure for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile stem and mince the dill, if using.
4. Turn off the heat and let the pressure return to normal, naturally (this should take about 15 minutes). Release the pressure and unlock the cooker, averting your face as you do so to avoid a steam bum. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Serve the dish as a thick soup, sprinkled with the dill and topped with yogurt, if you wish. Or, for a thicker, stewlike consistency, remove the solids with a slotted spoon before seasoning and boil the liquid down over high heat until it has reached the consistency you like. Return the solids to the liquid, season, and stir in the dill. Ladle the stew into bowls and top each bowlful with a dollop of yogurt.
I use paprika for a lot more than its jolly bright color. Added in large enough amounts, it brings a deep peppery character to soups and stews and works especially well with meat and poultry. If you’re a real aficionado, you can purchase paprika imported from Hungary in two forms, sweet and hot Paprika tastes best when added to liquid off the heat. When stirred in directly over heat, it will turn bitter.