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Hungarian Paprika-Braised Potatoes
In Zákányszék, a village in southern Hungary, home cook Piroska Tanácsné taught us paprikás kumpli—a simple, traditional side of paprika-braised potatoes, often served with sausage. Our take on the dish features chunks of waxy red potatoes cooked in a vibrant broth starring plenty of paprika, as well as tender onion, plus earthy cumin and caraway. As the potatoes simmer, the spice-rich liquid reduces to yield a deeply flavorful sauce. Seek out fresh, good-quality paprika, and in particular look for brands produced in Hungary. If yours has been in the pantry for a while, it may have lost its kick (it should be bright red, not dull brown, and full of fragrance). Medium red or Yukon Gold potatoes, measuring about 2 inches in diameter, are best.
tablespoons lard or grapeseed or other neutral oil
large yellow onion, finely chopped
01In a large Dutch oven over medium, melt the lard. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, then the paprika, caraway, cumin, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt, followed by 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then cover, reduce to low and simmer until a skewer inserted into the potatoes meets just a little resistance, 15 to 18 minutes.