Of the dishes passed down from my grandmother, this is the one we’ve cooked the most – both during my childhood and now. It’s a wonderful mixture of fried potatoes and kransky, flavoured with onion, garlic, and the all important paprika. My grandparents used to make it with csabai (sausage, not salami), and this would certainly be wonderful if you can get it.
At heart though, its a meat and potatoes dinner that’s about as simple and cheap as you can get, and simple and cheap is not a bad thing when feeding five children! My recollection is that mum and dad used to make this with a 5kg bag of potatoes to feed us all, or the equivalent form the 20kg sack we sometimes bought, but perhaps it just felt like 5kg when peeling them 🙂
Despite the peeling, this was definitely one of our favourite dinners as children, but one of the things that was always a point of contention was how many pieces of kransky we got – this is obviously the most expensive part of the dish, so we had relatively little compared to the potato. I certainly remember people (possibly I may have been one of them:)) counting pieces to make sure they got their share, and often saving them up until the end of their meal to savour every crispy bite 🙂
I confess I’m somewhat more lavish with the kransky these days, going for about one per person, but you could certainly make it with less. For those of you familiar with classic Paprikás Krumpli, this version is much less stew like and minus the tomato, but the long slow cooking, and melting around the edges potatoes are key to both.
What’s your favourite potato dish?
Kransky and potato
- 4-6 large (about 1.5 kg) floury potatoes (usually ones that are good for baking and mashing)
- 2-4 kransky sausages (depends how meaty you want it to be)
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbs sweet paprika
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper
- few sprigs parsley to serve
Wash and roughly dice potatoes – peel or not depending on preference. Steam or boil until almost cooked, so they still have a bit of resistance when you bite into them, then drain well.
Meanwhile, cut the kransky lengthways, and slice in 1/2cm half moons. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (big enough to hold all the potato as well) and fry the kransky over medium heat until mostly brown. Add the chopped onion and fry for 5 minutes or so until the onion starts to soft. Add the crushed or finely chopped garlic and fry another couple of minutes.
Now add the drained potato, paprika and salt and pepper, and stir until everything is coated. Shake the pan to settle into a rough layer, and fry over medium/low heat for about 30 minutes, using a metal spatula/fish slice to turn the mixture every five minutes or so. The aim is to get the potato and onion really brown, but also as the potato softens, to have everything coated in a lovely mixture of deeply caramelised potato and onion. Add a little water if needed to prevent burning, and to help scrape all the lovely browned potato and onion from the bottom.
When it’s all lovely and tender and brown, adjust the seasoning, and top with the chopped parsley.
Serves 4 generously