Monday, April 02, 2007


Okay. Get off your ass and go on down to the Hungarian butcher. You live here in Cleveland? Then go to the West Side Market and go to the guy who is on the left side when you go in the door that faces 25th. He's a good Hungarian guy, know's what it's all about.

Tell that guy you're making speck. Tell him you need a big-ass chunk of szalonna (pronounced suh-luh-na, full name: cigány szalonna). That's paprika-cured Hungarian bacon. Now, the guy should say something like "Speck, eh? A good fatty piece of szalonna for you!" If he doesn't, call him an asshole and leave.

Shit looks something like this.

You'll need a big effing sweet onion and a loaf of European rye bread, sliced regular; salt and paprika. Slice the onion thin. Some of us Hunkies like a little sliced radish in there too.

Get the longest barbecue fork you got, or a long stick or something. Take your chunk of szalonna and score it with a knife, cutting in about a half inch deep on the fat side. Do it both ways, so you get a criss-cross pattern. Spear that effer onto your fork.

You'll need an open fire. Quit bellyaching. Use the goddamn fireplace if you don't have a Weber kettle.

Get pieces of the bread arranged on a platter, your onion and salt and paprika and shit handy. Put some onion on the bread.

Now hold that chunk of szalonna over the flame.

Get a good cold-ass Bud or Stroh's or some shit like that to drink while you're doing this shit. No goddamn candy-ass nancy beer that comes in some weird-ass big bottle with an effing cork and that you're supposed to have at some effing particular temperature or anything like that. That shit sucks.

That effer's gonna start dripping like good and goddamn. Soon as that starts, bring it on over to the bread and start dripping that shit on there. It stops dripping, you put it back on the fire till it starts up again. Keep the shit up until that bread and onion is good and soaked in that rendered fat. Give that effer a shake of salt and a paprika and you are kickin' it.

When the crispy burnt-parts start falling off, that's so effing down. Put those on that bread and eat the mothers up along with the rest of it. You can even sorta help them off by trimming them once it gets going.

Before any of you assholes goes bitching up a storm about cholesterol, just clam it up right now. No shit this shit has some shitty cholesterol mojo going on. I know what the eff I'm talking about too. My cholesterol's about 900 and I'm probably gonna die in 10 minutes, but I'm going out with a slice of speck and a cold Bud. Might bring my vibrator too.

Eff off.

You eat a few pieces of this shit and you can drink all night long. Mix up a batch of Hungarian cucumbers and sour cream and you are rocking ass.

I've heard some people call this shit gypsy bacon. Whatever.

Some dipshit might tell you to go on and fry that shit up in a pan and then sop up the rendered fat with the rye and roll up some onion in there and salt and paprika and shit and do it that way. Fine, but I think that shit is totally pussy. Get down proper with it assholes.


Jim Winter said...

I grew up in a Scots-German household (which does not explain why I don't fit in in Cincinnnati), and you're still making me homesick.

Eve said...

*saying a prayer for Erin's arteries*


Maureen McHugh said...

Dinner's at Erin's.

nadina said...

cooking in the fireplace, naked on the couch ...odd frozen things in your freezer.Now this is livin'

Erin O'Brien said...


I'm so tickled I'm practically pink!

Someone came to my pages after having googled "pretty boobs and bottoms."

Does this mean I can have them, if only in a meta-cyberspace sort of way?


Dean said...

Someone came to my pages after having googled "pretty boobs and bottoms."

Does this mean I can have them, if only in a meta-cyberspace sort of way?

If you do, goddammit, I want pictures! And no blurry Goat-pictures either!

Dean said...

Oh, and my beloved's ex-SO eats speck. I've never tried it. He makes a pretty wicked chicken paprikasc, though.

Rick said...

You make me so hot! Your beautiful and can cook!

sxKitten said...

My ex-SO does not eat speck (more's the pity, really, given its health benefits. Perhaps I should encourage him). His late mother did - she bought hers, pre-specked, in plastic tubs from her butcher. Breakfast every day was a piece of toast liberally smeared with speck and a sprinkle of paprika. Not smeared the way you smear butter, but smeared the way you smear fois gras, half an inch thick.

Amazingly enough, she did not die of heart failure.

Corn Dog said...

Oooooooh no! And you've got the got in the fireplace tangled up with this speck stuff. How are you gonna get it out of his coat? Durn Goat. I thought he was only good for whiskey. This speck sounds like fatback to me. I'm trying to translate into Southern. Anyone have a dictionary?

The Fool said...

This is entirely new to me. I'm not even sure where I'd go locally to begin a search. Thanks for the interesting post, Erin.

Anonymous said...

You leave me feeling sated yet hungry for more as always, Madame.

Toby said...

a little "totally pussy." never hurt anyone? The whole post cracked me up.

Aliecat said...

Seriously, the best use of profanity, EVER...

Reading the Signs said...

I have tried to follow your instructions to the letter even though the closest I could get to "that effer" was a vacuum-sealed packet of Walls unsmoked bacon rashers. I cracked open a can of Heineken too. It's the spirit of the thing that counts, I suppose. Look, I am English, I do my best. I have the cholesterol, though. I can do that.

porkchop?? said...

Loved the post.

Interesting 'Merican interpretation of a Hungarian dish that was obviously stolen from a Canajun's cookbook. Or they shoulda been Canajun anyway.

Speaking of Canajun, I though Bud or Stroh's WAS "goddamn candy-ass nancy beer". My mistake. Even good beer must get turned into "lite" (cough moosep*ss cough) beer when transmitted through the InterWort.

Hope Dangling said...

oh my god my mouth is watering...i have to eat this...i will not stop thinking about it until I do either. you rock sister. wanna come on a car chase with me???

John Venlet said...

You eat a few pieces of this shit and you can drink all night long.

I don't remember that benefit being noted in The Irish
Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts
! That bit of news will come in handy this weekend, I'm certain, and don't you worry, I'll down this bit of yummy soundingness with some Stroh's.

Too bad I don't have a Hungarian butcher around, but I do have a big ol' shaker of paprika.