Gundel - New Hungarian Cookbook

(Gundel - Új Magyar Szakácskönyv)


© 1997,
Kossuth Printing House PLC. -
Pallas Studio, Budapest

ISBN 963 9022 91 8
(Hungarian edition)
ISBN ??? (English edition)

Made by Kossuth
Printing House PLC. (98.4033)

Book Cover

Some words about the book, cited from the book's foreword

I seem to hear the voice, when somebody looking at this book would say: "Do we really need one more cookbook, moreover a new Gundel cookbook?" We were thinking about this question thoroughly: Kálmán Kalla, the master-chef of Gundel with his team, Zoltán Halász, the civilization-historian gastronome and me. Finally we have decided, yes, we have to write it, and publish it, the New Gundel Cookbook. There are some reasons why we have decided to do so: Every restaurant has such a cookbook, as it deserves. We felt that we should write a cookbook in which we will publish many from those recipes make the revived Gundel so beloved by all. We tried to choose the traditional and popular Hungarian recipes - and to combine them with those recent delicate flavors the Gundel's chefs designed from the time of reopening our restaurant. …..

A practical cookbook is not only for cooking, but it should be a pleasant reading. It must not contain exciting, but inaccurate recipes. This cookbook should be well written, easy to follow, and handy one, which helps you avoiding the pitfalls when you like to prepare the recipes, and to make delightful dishes following the recipes' instructions. The good cookbook mustn't suppose that you could have tasted the dish before you wanted to make it by the recipe. It mustn't require special, qualified knowledge of a professional chef.

I always believed that a cookbook, which contains unreliable, inaccurate recipes, is a bible for simpletons. However there are only very few chefs' recipes are reliable, and even fewer chefs' recipes are delicious. Kálmán Kalla, who is a master chef, owner of the Golden Hat, winner of the Europen-prize is well known as a chef whose recipes as accurate as a medical prescription. Moreover many innovations and information are in them - and he gives in every detail, with uncompromising accuracy.

Today I can gladly tell you that you could enjoy these dishes not only in the Gundel restaurant (like queens, kings, heads of states and other great celebrities, who were our guests at our Gundel restaurant), but you can prepare the recipes at your home following the cookbook's instructions. We believe that this could be the adequate reason alone to postpone the moratorium of cookbooks' publishing - and to create the Gundel's New Hungarian Cookbook. …

and there is a confession at last: we were brave enough to omit some recipes, which we thought became too popular in the past decades.

I believe that uncle Gundel, if he would come back from the afterlife, after reading these recipes, would happily put the napkin under his shirt-collar and would enjoy that there is still live after the rebirth - and especially after the rebirth of the Hungarian cooking. I think that he would be pleased, as we have protected our traditions: the character of the Hungarian kitchen, and the traditions he made, the "classical" Gundel recipes, dishes.

I drink (and of course I have a wine in my glass from the Lauder-Láng vineyards) to remember those, who founded the Gundel's magical past - and to greet the present-days Gundel's champion team, who makes the present and the futures.

Some good recipes:


· Serves 4 ·


· 2 cups wine
(medium "Hárslevelû"
/semisweet Hungarian white wine)

· 4 cloves

· 1 allspice

· a small piece of cinnamon

· grated lemon-peel
of 1/2 lemon

· 6 egg yolks

· 6 Tbsp castor sugar

1. In a quart skillet mix the wine, 2 cups water and the spices, bring them to a boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes on slow heat. Using a tea-strainer remove the spices.

2. In a caldron whisk the egg yolks and the castor sugar until whipped. For the first time mix 1 dl hot spicy wine into the whipped egg mixture, stir quickly with an eggbeater to blend the egg-mixture with the liquid, then still stirring add the remaining hot wine.

3. Heat carefully on slow fire for about 3-4 minutes, stirring with the egg-whisk continuously, be careful not to overheat the soup, as the egg yolk could easily curdle. Serve hot.

At Christmas eve, after the midnight service, when the family came home on foot through the crunchy snow in the winter night, it was a tradition to serve them this spicy wine-soup, hot. The recipe of this soup, and the making instructions came down to posterity almost in every Hungarian family.





· Serves 4 ·


· 320 gr. paschal lamb
cut into 10 x 10 mm
(1/2 inch) dice

· 3 tbsp sunflower-seed oil

· 100 gr. onion finely chopped

· 1 tsp Hungarian paprika,
preferably sweet

· 1 small garlic clove, crushed

· 1/4 tsp ground caraway

· 1 bay leaf

· salt to your taste

· 250 gr. potato, cut into
10 x 10 mm (1/2 inch) dice

· 150 gr. French bean,
cut into 20 mm pieces

· 1/2 cup sour cream

· 2 tbsp plain white flour

· 1 - 2 tbsp dill,
finely chopped

1. In a 2 quarts pot fry the onion on the hot oil until golden brown. Set aside for a short time, and then mix in the Hungarian paprika, and two cups of hot water.

2. Put back on the medium fire, add the meat dices, some salt, caraway, garlic and bay leaf, reduce the heat, and on slow fire simmer covered for about 1 and the half hours, or until the meat is tender. Continuously add water if needed.

3. While the meat simmers in a small pot boil the diced potatoes in some salted water (about 10-12 minutes), then set aside.

4. Boil the French bean pieces in a cup of salted water (about 10-12 minutes) and set them aside too. Do not overcook the bean! If you use green beans, add some bicarbonate of soda to the water to keep the fresh green color of the bean.

5. In a small bowl mix well the sour cream and the flour with 1/4 cup of water using a whisk.

6. When the meat is tender, add the potatoes and the bean with the simmering water, then mix in the sour cream thickening and simmer another 5 minutes.

7. If you think that the soup is too thick, mix in some hot water. Before the serving, discard the bay leaf, and sprinkle every serving with spoonful fresh, finely chopped dill.

János Gundel, who was the founder of the Gundel dynasty, created this soup recipe for Kálmán Mikszáth, when the Hungarian famous writer once asked him "something to eat, which has all the tastes, aromas, finenesses and delicacies in it". Mikszáth was born in the north part of Hungary, from "Palóc-land" - so their friends gave the name after his motherland to this soup - and it became "Palócleves".

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