Lecho or Lecso as it is called by Hungarians, my way! My mother was married to a Hungarian man and I have memories of painstakingly dicing onions really fine and cleaning and slicing what seemed like a million peppers. Typically, you would use Hungarian sweet peppers for this dish but they’re hard to find in Canada unless you are in a major centre with a large Hungarian population. That being said you can always use bell peppers and it’s better to use red, yellow, or orange peppers. Do not use green peppers! My mother’s husband went out hunting one year with his brother and they brought home an Elk. They made the most amazing sausage which of course was added to the Lesco. I don’t hunt so…I buy fresh hot Italian sausage when I make this dish but if you want, try fresh chicken or turkey sausage it’ll work just as well. This recipe will be for approximately four people.
- 4 -5 fresh sausages
- A good quality oil – 2-3 Tbsps
- One large sweet onion- diced as fine as you can get it
- 6 -7 large yellow, orange, or red peppers ( or mix it up just for fun!) – clean and slice them into strips not too thin, should be about an inch in width
- 2-3 medium size ripe tomatoes- diced OR one 540ml can o’ diced tomatoes
- Paprika ( you will need lots of paprika) and it doesn’t have to be Hungarian paprika- 4 Tbsps or so
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, then place your fresh sausage into a baking dish and cook in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.
In the meantime, add the oil to a large frying pan or pot. Heat at a low temperature, then add the onions to the oil. Stir often and don’t let it burn. Cook the onions until they are translucent.
Now add the peppers to the onions, cook until they are just starting to get soft. They should be warm but not hot. This is when you add the paprika. In the ingredient part I have written 4 Tbsps but the truth is I don’t measure. I add enough paprika so that it covers all the vegetables in the pot and looks like a paste. Whatever you do, don’t let the paprika burn, you really just want to warm it up a bit. Now, add some salt and pepper to the mix and the tomatoes. You will want to let this simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or so. If Stew seems too thick add about a half cup of water, that should help it along.
During all of this babysitting of onions and peppers , the sausages should have been ready to take out of the oven and set aside to cool a bit. Cool enough to cut into bite size chunks. Now would be a good time to add the sausage to the vegetables. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Lesco should be ready to go! Serve with mashed potatoes ( Jocelyne’s most excellent idea.) And a glass of Pinot Grigio! Cheers!