the appetizer:

The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas, presents 160 sweet and savory bacon recipes, including Danish Potato, Tomato, and Bacon Omelette; Swiss Apple, Pear, Potato, and Bacon Braise; and Hungarian Venison and Bacon Ragout.

Cookbook Profile

Hungarian Venison and Bacon Ragout

Hungarian Venison and Bacon Ragout

Makes 6 to 8 servings


Back in the 1960s and '70s, the colorful Hungarian chef Louis Szathmàry caused a sensation in Chicago at his highly eclectic restaurant, The Bakery, and of all the amazing dishes I sampled there, none left such an impression as Chef Louis's succulent venison ragout enriched with heady paprika bacon (available today in most Hungarian or German markets and delis). If at all possible, use fresh beef stock (strained) for this ragout, and don't be jarred by the tomato juice and brown sugar: both are essential to the dish's success.


In a small saucepan, combine the bacon with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain the bacon and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the lard over low heat, add the scallions and garlic, stir for 2 minutes, and remove from the heat.

On a plate, combine 2 tablespoons of the flour, the salt, pepper, and paprika, and dredge the venison cubes in the mixture. Add the cubes to the scallions and garlic in the pot and brown the cubes on all sides over moderate heat, scraping the bottom of the pot with a spoon or spatula. Add 1/2 cup of the wine, the brown sugar, and the tomato juice, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the broth, thyme, bacon, and pepper to taste and increase the heat to moderate. Mix the remaining flour and the cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup of wine till smooth, add to the pot, and stir well for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer the ragout for 1 hour.

In a small skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat, add the mushrooms, and stir till golden, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the ragout and stir about 5 minutes longer. Serve the ragout hot over noodles or rice.


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This page created January 2008