There is a sort of unexplainable adoration around Roast á la Brașov (brassói aprópecsenye) which I myself have never really understood. After all, we are essentially talking about a dish founded on meat and potatoes without any kind of special additions, but it is a fact that I have simply never met anyone who tried it and hated it.
Translation by Tamás Vaski
Roast á la Brașov – like many other dishes around the world – has been named according to a geographic location; the Transylvanian city of Brașov. Also in a fashion similar to other dishes, there is no clear evidence that it has any affiliation to the region.
The “inventors” of simple but amazing foods often make themselves known, but in the case of the Brașov roast, the number of potential “inventors” is quite extreme.
The most popular assertion is that a train chef by the name of Nándor Gróf came up with the recipe for Roast á la Brașov in 1948, on-route between Budapest and Brașov (the recipe consisted of Pork Tenderloin, meat, garlic, black pepper, and potatoes). This origin is also considered the most believable, because the version of the dish it presents is perhaps its most widespread version to date.
Many earlier modes of preparation mention egg barley, mashed potatoes, and marjoram.
The following version is, according to many, sacrilege. After all: Roast á la Brașov is fine just as it is. Let its most dominant flavors be meat and potatoes!
But young green peas can toss up the flavor of this dish fantastically, even making it a bit more seasonal. Feel free to give it a try!
Roast á la Brașov with Green Peas
- 400 g pork tenderloin
- 100 g smoked bacon
- 800 g potatoes
- 200 g young green peas
- 1 large red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
Thoroughly wash and peel the potatoes, then cut them into cubes. Heat up some oil in a pan and cook the potatoes until they are nice and red.
Meanwhile, cut the meat into cubes relatively the same size as the potatoes.
Chop up the bacon and red onion as well into smaller cubes. Cook out the fat of the bacon in a pot, then add the red onion and two cloves of crushed garlic. Cook them together for a bit.
Add the pork tenderloin, cook it until it has whitened, then sprinkle on the paprika, salt, pepper, and marjoram.
Add a minimal amount of water to the bottom of the pot, cover it with a lid and let it steam. Once it is around halfway ready, add the green peas as well. Cook until the meat has completely softened. If the water evaporates, add a bit more.
It is important to leave some sauce under the stewed meat which the cooked potatoes can pick up.
The final step is to mix the potatoes, cooked in oil, with the juicy beef ragout.
Photos and Featured photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today