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Hungarian Pork Goulash with Finnish Pulla Dumplings


MY MOTHER, SHERRY MACLEAN, née Nuponnen, was born in Sudbury to parents of Finnish and Hungarian descent. She grew up surrounded by extended family. Many worked the mines, which were then in full swing. Large stews were the norm at her table. This recipe from back then combines an authentic Hungarian goulash with a dumpling version of pulla, a traditional Finnish sweet bread fragrant with cardamom. That flavour pairs beautifully with the bright paprika and toasted caraway present in every great goulash. And it’s an important part of this MacLean’s Finnish and Hungarian heritage. — D.M.



  • 500 g (11⁄4 lb) pork belly (preferably mangalitsa), trimmed, skinned and cut in 2.5-cm (1-inch) cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 50 ml (1⁄4 cup) canola oil
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 small ripe tomato, diced
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) Tokay (or semi-dry riesling)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp hot paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted, crushed
  • 250 g (1/2 lb) smoked pork hock, whole (or smoky bacon, cut into lardons)
  • 500 ml (2 cups) pork (or chicken) stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) veal stock • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

Pulla Dumplings

  • 250 ml (1 cup) flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp soft butter
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods, toasted, ground
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) milk


Season pork belly with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat half the oil in a Dutch oven on medium high, then sear the pork until bronzed on all sides. With a slotted spoon remove pork to a tray and set aside. Lower heat to medium low, add more oil (if necessary), then sweat the carrots, onion, celery and tomato. When vegetables are wilted (not coloured), remove them to a tray and set aside. Raise heat and deglaze with the wine.

When that has reduced to syrup, lower heat to medium, add the tomato paste, sugar, sweet and hot paprika, garlic and caraway, and stir. Cook until the tomato paste begins to brown— about 5 minutes. Add pork hock, both stocks and the thyme and bring to a simmer. Return pork belly to the pot, cover and simmer until tender—60-90 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the dump- lings combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine butter and cardamom and blend. Add the butter mixture to the dry mixture, combine, and while stirring slowly add the milk, a little at a time, until a wet dough forms (you may not need all the milk).

Once the pork is tender, scatter the reserved vegetables on top but do not stir. Spoon dollops of dump- ling batter on top of the vegetables. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Correct seasoning and garnish with scallions.


Pairs well with...

A spicy and smooth Spanish red like Hacienda de Arinzano Tempranillo or a rich, full-bodied French find such as the Château Bouscassé Madiran.

Find out more at Mark Anthony Wines & Spirits