Bram’s Birthday Bite: ‘A Gothic Cookbook’ Recipe

Autumn is wholeheartedly upon us. October, has been and gone. Now, nestling comfortably into the second week of November, I have a long-promised treat to share with you: a new, sneak-peek recipe from A Gothic Cookbook.

On this day, 1847, Mr Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker erupted into existence, in Dublin, Ireland. Synonymous with the gothic, Stoker is most famous for his eternal vampire story. Just like its eponymous creature, the tale of Dracula has lived many lives since Bram first released it into the world in 1897.

In celebration of Bram’s birthday today, I am delighted to share with you a feast brought to life from the pages of Stoker’s eternal vampire story. Tried, tested, and photographed by yours truly, here it is: Mina’s Paprika Hendl, in the words of A Gothic Cookbook.

“๐•ด ๐–๐–†๐–‰ ๐–‹๐–”๐–— ๐–‰๐–Ž๐–“๐–“๐–Š๐–—, ๐–”๐–— ๐–—๐–†๐–™๐–๐–Š๐–— ๐–˜๐–š๐–•๐–•๐–Š๐–—, ๐–† ๐–ˆ๐–๐–Ž๐–ˆ๐–๐–Š๐–“ ๐–‰๐–”๐–“๐–Š ๐–š๐–• ๐–˜๐–”๐–’๐–Š ๐–œ๐–†๐–ž ๐–œ๐–Ž๐–™๐– ๐–—๐–Š๐–‰ ๐–•๐–Š๐–•๐–•๐–Š๐–—, ๐–œ๐–๐–Ž๐–ˆ๐– ๐–œ๐–†๐–˜ ๐–›๐–Š๐–—๐–ž ๐–Œ๐–”๐–”๐–‰ ๐–‡๐–š๐–™ ๐–™๐–๐–Ž๐–—๐–˜๐–™๐–ž. (_๐•ธ๐–Š๐–’. _, ๐–Œ๐–Š๐–™ ๐–—๐–Š๐–ˆ๐–Ž๐–•๐–Š ๐–‹๐–”๐–— ๐•ธ๐–Ž๐–“๐–†.) ๐•ด ๐–†๐–˜๐–๐–Š๐–‰ ๐–™๐–๐–Š ๐–œ๐–†๐–Ž๐–™๐–Š๐–—, ๐–†๐–“๐–‰ ๐–๐–Š ๐–˜๐–†๐–Ž๐–‰ ๐–Ž๐–™ ๐–œ๐–†๐–˜ ๐–ˆ๐–†๐–‘๐–‘๐–Š๐–‰ “๐–•๐–†๐–•๐–—๐–Ž๐–๐–† ๐–๐–Š๐–“๐–‰๐–‘,” ๐–†๐–“๐–‰ ๐–™๐–๐–†๐–™, ๐–†๐–˜ ๐–Ž๐–™ ๐–œ๐–†๐–˜ ๐–† ๐–“๐–†๐–™๐–Ž๐–”๐–“๐–†๐–‘ ๐–‰๐–Ž๐–˜๐–, ๐•ด ๐–˜๐–๐–”๐–š๐–‘๐–‰ ๐–‡๐–Š ๐–†๐–‡๐–‘๐–Š ๐–™๐–” ๐–Œ๐–Š๐–™ ๐–Ž๐–™ ๐–†๐–“๐–ž๐–œ๐–๐–Š๐–—๐–Š ๐–†๐–‘๐–”๐–“๐–Œ ๐–™๐–๐–Š ๐•ฎ๐–†๐–—๐–•๐–†๐–™๐–๐–Ž๐–†๐–“๐–˜.”

Bram Stoker


๐•ธ๐–Ž๐–“๐–†’๐–˜ ๐•ป๐–†๐–•๐–—๐–Ž๐–๐–† ๐•ณ๐–Š๐–“๐–‰๐–‘

ยฉ Generally Gothic

Unlike Draculaโ€™s cold cuts, this traditional Hungarian dish โ€“ also known as Paprika Hendl โ€“ is a warm welcome in a bowl, thick, rich and shot through with the subtle smokiness of paprika.

Serve the pink-sauced stew spooned over ribbons of black tagliatelle โ€“ usually coloured by squid ink or activated charcoal โ€“ for full Gothic effect. Itโ€™ll taste just as lovely accompanied by noodles, potatoes or rice, though. Or simply eat it with a spoon, perhaps with some chunky bread to mop up the sauce. 

For a vegetarian version, try roasting squash and mushrooms and add to trepan in place of the chicken after step 2, simmering for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is nicely reduced.

Make it a dairy-free or vegan dish by substituting a nut butter and cashew cream.

Serves 2


2 tbsp olive oil
500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, sliced into fine strips
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 red pepper, sliced into fine strips
3 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
350ml of chicken or vegetable stock
150ml sour cream
Black tagliatelle, to serve (optional)

[Generally Gothic:] I used less oil, no butter, chicken breasts instead of thighs, set yoghurt instead of sour cream, and have served on mashed potatoes and with sourdough bread. Like a good recipe should, it stood up to the challenge of slight alteration!

ยฉ Generally Gothic


1. Gently heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or stewpot and add the chicken, cooking for around 4-5 minutes on each side to brown. Remove and set aside.

2. Using the same pan, reduce heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the onion, garlic and pepper, cooking for a minute before adding the paprika.

3. Return the chicken to the pan, add the tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes before adding the stock. Bring back to a simmer, cover and cook on a low-medium heat for around half an hour, until the chicken is tender and the sauce is nicely reduced. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to packet instructions.

4. Combine a few ladlefuls of the sauce with the sour cream, then add back to the pan, stirring gently. Continue cooking until heated through, and serve over the pasta โ€“ or your chosen accompaniment.

ยฉ Generally Gothic


If you try this recipe, and I really recommend that you do, share your photos with me & A Gothic Cookbook over on Instagram โ€“ weโ€™d love to see your creations! If like me, you cook up a feast and are keen for more, you can support A Gothic Cookbook and make it a full, physical reality. Instead of a purchase, at Unbound, you place a pledge, which is essentially a pre-order.

Want more Dracula? You can continue reading with a review of the 2020 BBC adaptation or a look at possible real-life inspiration for the bloody-thirsty beast.

And if you would like to support me in this unfunded, blood-thirsty work, please consider making a blood sacrifice. Thank you.

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