Category Archives: Maltese Traditions

Does your country have any traditional dishes? Wondering what Slovakian Goulash is?

When coming across people from different countries, a common question that one asks is ‘what’s a typical dish from your country’?

kotlikovy-gulas

Every country has its traditional food which it is renowned for. For instance in Malta one finds Stuffat tal-Fenek (rabbit stew), Braġioli (beef olives) and Lampuki Pie (fish pie). Other local snacks include hobz biz-zejt (round of bread dipped in olive oil, rubbed with ripe tomatoes and filled with a mix of tuna, onion, garlic, tomatoes and capers) and pastizzi (flaky pastry parcel filled with ricotta or mushy peas).

We’ve asked our Sales & Marketing Trainee, Zuzana Sammut Jurcik, to share with us a typical dish found in her homeland. She mentions Goulash and explains that although Goulash is primarily a traditional Hungarian dish it has also become a popular dish amongst Slovakian people.

Goulash is a popular dish in Slovak homes and restaurants. However you will rarely find a dish that tastes exactly like the other. This varies not only by region but also from one family to another.

We asked Zuzana for some secrets of what makes a Goulash meal so appetising.

Kotlíkový Guláš - outdoor dining

Although there are many different ways to make Gulas, her favourite way is to prepare it outdoors. She tells us that back home (in Slovakia) they call it Kotlíkový Guláš, which is popular at Slovak picnics as it’s cooked on an open fire. However she personally doesn’t think that cooking outdoors is a must. She encourages you to try cooking it in your own kitchen. Why not! And name it ‘Kotlikovy gulas cooked on the stove’! :)

It is simple to cook, delicious and requires minimum preparation time. However, for all the flavours and tastes to come out, one should ensure that it is cooked very slowly for at least a good two hours. The basic version consists of onions, potatoes, water, herbs and spices, and meat – pork, beef, or venison.

So let’s start with the preparations for a delicious Goulash meal!

 

Kotlíkový Guláš
Serves 7,
20mins preparation time,
2hrs cooking time

Cooking Goulash

Ingredients:

  • 0.5kg of beef (front boneless or neck)
  • 0.75kg pork (preferably pork shoulder)
  • 2 tablespoons of lard
  • 2 onions
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves
  • 0.75kg of potatoes
  • 370ml chopped peppers (different colours) and tomatoes.
    (Normally Slovakians use precooked and conserved tomatoes and peppers called ‘Leco’ but it can also be replaced with the fresh peppers and tinned/ fresh sliced tomatoes as these will be cooked during the process)
  • Salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cumin, marjoram and venison spices – amount varies according to taste preferences
  • 1.5 – 2 tablespoons of cooking oil for the marinade
  • Beer – for the taste and tenderness of meat

For the marinade:

  • 1 mashed clove of garlic, oil, cumin and black pepper mixed together (no salt)

 
Method:
Step 1:
Marinade the meats by cutting the meat into cubes a day before, marinate and let it rest in the fridge till next day.

Step 2:
Put the lard in the pot and add chopped onions. Braise slowly!
After onions turn glossy (Make sure it doesn’t turn brown) add beef, fry for a while whilst adding Cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, salt, venison spices and beer

Step3:
Braise the meat slowly and keep adding some water.
Whilst the meat is braising cut a peeled potato into small cubes and add to the cooking meat

Step 4:
After approximately 1 hour add the pork and continue braising. 
Once the pork gets tender add the rest of the potatoes.

Step 5:
Cook until the potatoes become soft and then add the Leco or chopped tomatoes and peppers

Step 6:
Finally add some finely chopped garlic and marjoram. Once all the ingredients are added turn off the stove and let it rest.  You can also add some chilli and spices according to ones’ preference.

Buon appetito! :)
 

Did you enjoy our Goulash recipe? We’ve now challenged Our Kitchen Team to come up with a typical Maltese dish similar to Goulash. So check back soon for more updates!!

And if you would like to try delicious and mouth-watering dishes book a table at one of the top Malta Restaurants at the Grand Hotel Excelsior and you will surely enjoy a 5 star dining experience.

For more information about Kotlíkový Guláš kindly visit:
http://varecha.pravda.sk/recepty/kotlikovy-gulas-fotorecept/40431-recept.html
http://varecha.pravda.sk/recepty/narodne-kuchyne/slovenska-kuchyna/2

Share Button

Christmas in Malta – The Maltese Crib

Christmas Traditions in Malta
The Maltese tradition of crib making (“presepju”) was influenced from Sicilian cribs. The earliest Maltese crib known was built at the Dominican Friars Church in Rabat in 1617. Another crib dated on the framework 1826 is found at the Benedictine Nuns in Mdina Malta; and another from the same period is found in Birgu, which has been over restored and not much left from the original. As cribs became more popular they also became more ‘Maltese’ with people replacing the Italian looking buildings and workers with local ones. Flour windmills were and are still popular features in a crib scene.
In Malta, two types of cribs are made-either in the shape of a grotto, or as the traditional large crib. The popular family crib (“presepju tal-familja”), is made with simple materials such as a thin wood base and chicken wire to hold the structure, this is covered with ‘paper mache’, made with home made flour glue. When finished, the crib is left to dry for days, before being painted with bright powder colour. Cardboard, burnt coal or pieces of rustic stone, easily found in Maltese countryside are used to structure larger cribs. Most cribs feature Jerusalem city as the back scenery. Some large cribs are worked mechanically creating the figures and other features moving around the countryside of Jerusalem with various caves, valley, hills with one word and streams.
The first Nativity scenes were decorated with expensive clay figures from Sicily. People could not afford to buy them, so several local crib dilettante, started moulding small clay figures and hand painted the face, hands and clothes. They were very rough and easily broken, so plaster moulds with local earth clay were used, and pressed to produce figurines called “pasturi”, derived from the Italian word “pastore”, which means shepherd, they were sold in many shops for a penny- “pasturi tas-sold”.
The most popular “pasturi”, were dressed in Maltese costumes, representing traditional crafts such as farmers, shepherds, the baker, climber, and the simple man full of wonder with both hands lifted up. Other popular “pasturi” include the musicians, the bagpipe player, the hand drummer, the friction drum player, and the two partners of Maltese folk singers.
The crib has become part of our country’s traditions. With great pride the whole family shows the decorated crib to every one who visits their home during the Christmas festive season.

If you are planning a visit to Malta enjoy your stay in a Luxury Malta hotel. The Excelsior Hotel Malta Team will make sure that you experience the unique Maltese Traditions.

Share Button

Maltese Traditions – The History of the Regatta

The 8th September is known as Victory Day in Malta. It’s a catch-all day because this particular public holiday has several roots, not one clear-cut raison d’etre for celebration: it marks the end of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 and the end of French occupation on Malta in 1800, as well as the armistice of the Fascist regime in Italy in 1943, which saw the close of the Italian bombardment of the Maltese Islands.
Every nation has its hour of glory in battle. The Regatta is held on September 8th in Grand Harbour to celebrate Malta’s victories during the Great Siege of 1565 and the Second World War. The magnificent Fort St Angelo provides an imposing backdrop to the sleek and colourful Maltese boats. Band marches, water-carnival, boat races and display of colourful fireworks are the main features attracting large crowds to the capital city, Valletta, and the Grand Harbour.

Rowing teams from the cities bordering Grand Harbour such as Valletta, Vittoriosa, Senglea, Kalkara, Cospicua, Marsaxlokk and Marsa, participate in a number of very exciting races, marked by extreme rivalry between participating teams and their respective supporters. For weeks on end, the competitors prepare for the races with fanatic zeal and rivalry. In the afternoon of Regatta day thousands of people crowd the waterfront and the surrounding bastions and craft of every description converge to the Grand Harbour to watch the races.
The first 3 winners in each race are awarded prizes and the club with the highest overall points wins the Aggregate Shield. Each year the different regatta clubs do their best to win the shield, which is strongly contested.
The Regatta is a great fun event and a source of great local pride. If you’re in Malta on the 8th of September make sure you don’t miss attending!

If you would like information about things to do in Malta during your holidays, the dedicated team at one of the leading Malta Hotels are always ready to help you. So for a pleasant holiday in Malta stay at a five star hotel close to Valletta.

Share Button