The “Beangrower” grapegrowers’ everyday meal
Sopron wine region is near the Austrian border, the traditions, words and of course meals are interwoven with German words. ‘Poncichter’ is a word used even nowadays for pubs selling wine, and the original form of the word is Bohnenzüchter, which means beangrower. We will tell you why and share a simple recipe as well, certainly with a wine pair.
In the shadow of the vine
Grapegrowers in Sopron region used to plant beans among the vines. The simple plant survived, in fact thrived in the shadow of the vine, it gave food, what’s more, no special tax had to be paid. No wonder, the vineyard owners used to eat a lot of beans and devised several plates with this humble ingredient. Babsterc is a typical example. (‘Bab’ is bean, ‘sterc’ is fried flour, again an Austrian word). There are several variations of the recipe, let’s see one.
– Soak 200 g dry white beans for a night.
– Boil the beans in salted water until tender.
– Put 200 g flour into a thick pan and fry it without any grease. You have to be careful not to burn it.
– Add some hot lard or goose-grease and stir it well.
– Add some boiling water from the beans as well.
– Mash the beans with a fork and add it to the fried flour. Mix it well.
– Before serving you can bake it in the oven or you can heat in a frying pan.
– It is often served with fried onion rings. At weekends people use it as a garnish of beef stew. Delicious when eaten sweet with sugar and jam or yogurt.
Kékfrankos, of course!
We asked Kurt Taschner Sopron winemaker what to pair with babsterc. Kékfrankos, of course – he said. The fried flour gets a special, toasted flavour, while the bean pasta also has a toasty, chestnut-like aroma. Lard wants some acidity to balance, and Kékfrankos has enough of the acidity along with the lovely, refreshing fruitiness which makes this rather hearty meal lighter.
For Taschner Classic Soproni Kékfrankos the fermentation took place in traditional 1000 L vats with maceration, and the wine matured in large wooden barrels for a year. “Fresh and lively wine, which represents the colour blue on the nose as well (‘Kék’ in Kékfrankos means blue): plum, blueberry and blue flowers with charming, playful spicy notes. Spices dominate the zesty palate supplemented by ripened fruits like cherry and plum.”) Now the vintage 2017 is on sale.
How to make ‘babsterc’ attractive for connoisseurs?
The simple meal of the poor can also be made in a way to appeal to restaurant goers with more refined taste. Zoltán Erhardt is a renowned Sopron chefrunning his own restaurant. Zoltán Pauli gastronomic expert visited him and asked him to show how to cook this authentic meal, so here it is. Zoltán Erhardt used goose-grease he topped the meal with fried duck liver and carrot. The video is in Hungarian, but still you can see the most important steps of the procedure (he did not mash the beans as thoroughly as the cook of the plate above).