I am waiting for my bogrács.
According to my NTC’s Hungarian and English Dictionary, bogrács means: « stew-pot or kettle . » This ‘kettle’ was used in the past to make ‘gulyásleves’ or goulash soup. Growing up, I knew nothing about this kettle. I also knew nothing of goulash. I had heard of it, but I didn’t really know what it was as for whatever reason, I never heard my family use the terminology in Hungarian. We had a soup which I later found out was gulyásleves, and we had it all the time. I mean, if you are Hungarian, how can you make soup without paprika? We also had stew all the time and I later found out it was also gulyás. So here I was having it all the time and didn’t even know it.
To do a little word research, one finds that the ‘gulya’ is the herd and the ‘gulyás’ is the herdsman. The herdsman in Hungary travelled around with the animals and obviously needed to eat from time to time. Hence the bogrács, a kettle on a tripod that was used to cook the stew or soup, out of doors, in a camping situation. Several years ago, we went to the Hungarian Festival in Norridge and they feature a goulash cook off with multi-stations of kettles on tripods where people make their best goulash.
Goulash is a seriously important staple found on menus all over Germany, Austria, and of course, Hungary. When I tasted it in Germany, I fell in love with it all over again, although it was slightly different from what I remember. Our goulash had no ‘fire,’ no heat, in terms of spicing. I took the ‘stew’ that I was accustomed to making and added some heat via hot Szeged paprika. I have since come up with the stew and the amount of heat that is to my liking.
Of course, foodies that we are, we decided that we want to make it authentically out of doors. One of our sons has a huge fire pit in his backyard and well, I recently went on Ebay and picked up a tripod for outdoor cooking. It can be used with a cast iron Dutch oven it is so sturdy. The bogrács I finally found is over 16 liters and is in the Hungarian standard enamel that is generally used. It has a particular shape as well. I found it on Ebay and it came from Budapest.
We are in for an interesting experience and we have some new family camping equipment. Our family has taken all of the equipment and put it together for use. Highland Park may never be the same. We will make some gulyásleves and we will have zsíros kenyér (grease bread)! Yes, the bogrács did arrive and we are all set to go.