Hungarian potato casserole – my mom’s juicy version
April 8, 2020
The potato casserole is a Hungarian traditional one-pot dish that almost everyone is a fan of – at least in our family. Sour cream (there is a saying that you know you are Hungarian when you love sour cream…) is one of its main ingredients, but I found that sour cream as the only “source of sauce” can make it a little dry (at least to my taste). My mom’s version, on the other hand, is incredibly juicy. I remember when I rarely visited home during my university years in Prague it was always one of the dishes I asked my mommy to cook for the weekend. Then, slowly, I started preparing it myself, exactly the way I learned from my mom – with a little twist.
Ingredients for a classic Dutch oven:
1 kg potatoes
2,5 dl cooking cream
330 g sour cream + some for serving
2 long links of smoked sausage
Salt, pepper to taste
1. Cook the potatoes unpeeled in a large pot in salted water. Cook until you can easily insert a fork or knife in them. But make sure that they don’t overcook. Cool them under cold water so you can easily peel them off and then cut them to approx. half cm circles.
2. In another pot cook 6 hard eggs . After peeling them, cut them into rings with an egg slicer.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the sauce for the meal – this is the step my mom does differently and the way I really like it. Mix 4 raw eggs with the sour cream and the cooking cream. Add salt (don’t be afraid to over-salt, the potatoes will swallow quite a lot of it). I always taste the sauce, when it feels just a little too salty, it’s perfect. If you like you can add pepper to it too.
4. Slice the sausage into thin bits. I prefer the juicier, softer sausage for the potato casserole because it releases its juice during baking and adds a nice color to the dish.
5. Take your baker (I use a kind of Dutch oven but it can be any bigger ovenproof pot or casserole that can be covered, even with aluminium foil) and start placing levels of the ingredients. First comes a level of potatoes, just enough to cover the bottom of your baker. Then lay half of the egg slices over the potatoes and then half of the sausage rings. After comes another level of the potato-egg-sausage combo. Finish the layering with the rest of the potatoes.
6. Once the last level of potatoes is added, pour the sauce mix on top of it. Don’t worry if you find the sauce too thin, the eggs in it during baking will make it quite solid.
7. Push the filled baker into the preheated oven to 200 degrees and bake it covered for about 25-30 minutes, then remove the cover and brown the top for another 5-7 minutes on 250 degrees.
8. During serving top the divine food with sour cream and decorate the plate with some pickles.