Growing up, my dad, of Hungarian heritage, introduced us as a family to many dishes. Each of us had a favourite. I loved Chicken Paprikas, one brother loved cabbage noodles, while my oldest brother loved the Hungarian version of scalloped potatoes. This was no mere side dish. It was hearty with the addition of hard boiled eggs and the dry cured, smoked Hungarian sausage, csabai. We always had a large roasting tray of it and there was rarely anything leftover. Like many casserole-style dishes there is a crispy top part and a softer interior. We each had our favourites. It helped define the individuality in our family. One liked this aspect, another that. It helped us grow together through a regular meal together. One of an alternating rotation of Sunday dinners for my family growing up: Rakott Krumpli.
RAKOTT KRUMPLI (Hungarian-Style Scalloped Potatoes)
6-8 August Organics medium Russet potatoes, sliced 3/4cm (1-1/2″) thick
2 Sunshine Organic large eggs
150g/6oz Budapest Deli csabai sausage (or other dry cured smoked sausage. Note: if using a less dry sausage use 1/4 cup less cream)
500mL/2 cups whipping cream (35%) (or less if using a moist sausage like kielbasa or other garlic sausage)
Place the sliced potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook the potatoes until nearly done (about 15 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Place the eggs in a small pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. At the point it comes to a full boil reduce heat to medium and cook for exactly 10 minutes. Take off the heat and run cold water over the boiling water until the hard boiled eggs are completely cool (usually takes about 7-10 minutes running under cold water). This ensures the eggs stop cooking immediately and the yolk does not develop that unsightly grey ring. Peel the eggs and slice thickly (about 1cm or 1/2″ slices).
Cut the sausage into 1cm (1/2″) slices.
In a large roasting pan or casserole dish (or large lasagna pan works as well), add a layer of par-boiled potato slices. Sprinkle about half of the sliced sausage and hard boiled egg slices.
Cover with the rest of the sliced potato, hard boiled egg and sausage. Pour over the cream and sprinkle the top with ground black pepper. We usually had a lot of black pepper on top so it made a distinct crust on top, but you can use however much you please. If you only like a little, a little is fine.
Bake in a preheated 180C/350F oven on the middle rack for 55-60 minutes until the top is deeply golden and the potatoes are creamy. The cream will bubble up over the course of the baking time. It’s simply the cream thickening from the heat of the oven and it makes the potatoes creamier beneath the crispy top. Serves 4 as a meal.