Pörkölt and Lecsó

Having quite a lot of venison in the freezer, and having taken advantage of some Fruit & Veg special which left me with lots of green and yellow bell peppers, I made Pörkölt (Hungarian venison stew) and Lecsó (Hungarian vegetable stew with bell peppers). Both are heavy on the paprika, I shall have to stock up next time I’m in Hungary (which will be early August, assuming the world doesn’t again go mad before then).

For the Pörkölt, I used duck fat instead of lard, I still had some in the freezer. Did not add marjoram because that’s unobtanium at the moment, oregano had to suffice. I also didn’t add the 2 cups of stock but used a stock cube instead, because I stuck it in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) for 20 minutes instead of simmering for 2 hours.

The Lecsó really does compliment the Pörkölt, so do them both. And rice. I like rice.


Easy mince curry

Let’s say you have some mince, and you feel like a curry. Get out your Dutch Oven.

  • Oil, onions, red or yellow bell peppers, quick heat, slow heat, leave onions to caramelise a bit. Maybe add garlic.
  • Add mince, heat, brown.
  • One or two tin(s) chopped tomatoes, one packet Ina Paarman Tikka Curry. Simmer for as long as you want to.
  • Maybe add halved baby or cubed potatoes, simmer until cooked.
  • Maybe stir in some frozen peas at the end.
  • Serve with rice, or wrap it in a roti, or stick it on a bun and call it a Sloppy Joe.


Malica at Gostilna Gezove Jame

“Malica” translates to “brunch”. Gostilna Gezove Jame‘s special on the day Paul dragged us there was pasulj, a Serbian bean soup with smoked sausage. Really good, and extremely affordable.

Whether you pay 1 Euro for your 50:50 wine and sparkling water spritzer, or whether you buy a liter bottle each wine and sparkling water, it works out to a Euro a spritzer :-) Beer sells for maybe a Euro, maybe €1.09 in the supermarket, so €2.20 is fair. And €5.90 for a large bowl of soup/stew with bread on the side is not bad at all.

You also get a free chaser each — or maybe that was just Paul’s good looks.

Wildebees curry

I found that the standard approach to beef, namely fry the cubes in oil to start off with, doesn’t work well with game. This approach is better.

Start with a kilo, kilo and a half of whatever boneless cut you have. Flank, bolo, rump, whatever. Cut it into 1″ bits, stick it in your black pot along with 2 chopped onions and a cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover, turn heat to high, and stir often until liquid evaporates and meat and onions are lightly browned. Remove from pot.

Toast 1/4 cup curry powder, 2 tbsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp garlic and 1tsp turmeric for a bit, then add 2 cups stock (or water and stock powder), one or two tins chopped tomato or tomato paste, 2 tbsp chilies, 2 tbsp ginger. Add the meat back in, simmer until you feel it’s done.

Meanwhile make a bunch of rice in your instant pot, then serve.

You can do any of the traditionals with this of course. Banana and coconut, sure, Tomato and onion sambal is also good. I’m partial to chutney.

Instant Pot Venison Curry

I love my Instant Pot. It’s a slow cooker, it’s a pressure cooker… on Sunday I cooked three separate things in it. This is the middle one.

Gemsbok shin curry, recipe adapted from Food & Home’s Blesbok curry.

Instant Pot on saute, 20ml oil, fry one chopped onion for about five minutes. Add some ginger and some garlic, I use the little plastic jars from the Spar because I’m lazy. Add half a teaspoon or so chili flakes. Give it a few minutes.

Add 400 to 500g meat, in 1cm-ish cubes. Give it a few more minutes.

Add 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes, mix it all up, let it simmer a bit. Add a couple cardamom pods and some cinnamon (I used about half a teaspoon ground cinnamon).

Add six to eight baby potatoes, halved.

Close the lid, set to pressure cook for 15 minutes, have a beer.

Depressurise, stir in about a teaspoon garam masala, let rest while you quickly rinse the pot and use it to boil some rice (2 minutes at pressure, maybe five minutes total).


Gemsbok sirloin steaks


One gemsbok sirloin, cut into thick steaks and marinaded in a mixture of oil, lemon juice, wooster* sauce, garlic and rosemary for about eight hours. Dredge in seasoned flour…


…fry in a hot pan with some oil…


…until done (in this case kids, so some of these are rather well done).


Mushrooms (and beer) on the side…


…and an egg on top. Nom.

* We were surprised to hear contestants on So you think you can cook pronounce it “wor-sez-tuhr-shur-shire”. Erm, no.

Chicken Dhansak Curry

We had some chicken fillets and my dietician told me I should eat lentils so google to the rescue.

Chicken dhansak curry

Fry two finely chopped onions in a bit of oil, add chicken and fry for a few minutes.

Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, 20 grams ginger (I realised I only had pickled ginger left over from experiments in sushi, that worked fine), 2 teaspoons garam masala, and 1/2 a teaspoon chili powder (I used flakes).

Fry this for a bit then add a tin of tomatoes and some stock, and 100g lentils. Add two bay leaves (I get mine from my brother’s tree in Bellville) and cook for 3/4 of an hour.

I also added a quarter butternut, cubed, 15 minutes before serving. Serve with rice (dietician says I can eat Basmati, I’ve been avoiding rice for a while so this is a bonus).

Some hot chutney and yum.

Gemsbok Sosaties

A sosatie is a kebab. Meat onna stick.


Start with a gemsbok loin (rugstring), nicely matured, cubed. Bacon is good. Some dried apricots, soaked in water for a few hours (also soak the skewers so they don’t burn). Some blanched onion, and some cherry tomatoes (it helps to work things out ahead of time, I had 8 skewers, 24 cubes of meat, 16 apricot halves, 16 tomatoes and 10 rashers of bacon cut into thirds. Some sosaties got more bacon, some got less onion).


Drizzled with olive oil & rosemary sauce.


There was a bit of loin left, that got sauced up and braaied separately. Also braaied a kilo of gemsbok wors.

Add a green salad and half a butternut wrapped in foil and put on the coals much earlier, and call it Sunday night supper.