Never go on trips with anyone you don’t love….Ernest Hemingway "I am not a glutton -- I am an explorer of food." Erma Bombeck (1927-1996)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Great Hungarian Goulash

Goulash, in non Hungarian terms is a combination of meat, Usually beef, carrots, potatoes, sauerkraut and spices in a thickish sauce.

The dish can be cooked in a pot on the stove or in a casserole dish in the oven.

The ingredients that you will need for goulash are fairly simple and straight forward. Here’s the list:

1) Cubes of Beef. I use number eight or number ten cuts for goulash. They are less expensive cuts and quite good enough.

2) Potatoes, diced into large cubes

3) Carrots, cut into thickish rings.

4) Sauerkraut.

5) Onions, cubed and lightly fried.

6) Bullion cubes.

7) Sweet Paprika powder.

8) Black pepper

9) Crushed Garlic.

10) Tomato Puree (or paste. optional)

11) Water


For a family of four to six people you will need about one kilogramme of beef. The content of potatoes and carrots use in the goulash should make up about two thirds of the quantity of the beef.


The first job is to sear the meat on all sides on a lightly oiled skillet. Once that’s done transfer the meat into your cooking pot. at this stage add your sweet paprika, sprinking about three teaspoons onto the meat while stirring over the flame.

You can now add about one small half teaspoon of black pepper, stirring onto the meat. Now add water until the meat is covered by about one inch of water. Heat until the pot is boiling and then turn the heat down so that the pot is simmering.

Add about one large cup of sauerkraut and stirr in. After this add one large cup of chopped and lightly fried onions and one teaspoon of crushed garlic.

Leave the pot to cook now for about half an hour stirring only occaisionally.

When the half hour is up check to see if the meat is tenderizing. Once the meat is starting to show signs of softening add a bullion cube and taste. You may need to add a little more depending on which type of bullion cubes you use.

Stirr well and then add the potatoes and carrots. Continue to stirr occaisionally making sure that the ingredients do not stick to the bottom of the pot.

If you like a tomato taste to your goulash, use a little tomato puree to thicken the dish, add two to three teaspoons of tomato puree and stirr in well.

Tomato paste is tart and for this reason we do not add it until the final stages of cooking because it causes the meet to toughen again and go rubbery. Aditional cooking time will be needed to soften the meat.

Continue to cook the dish until all the ingredients are soft enought to eat but not breaking up.

If you like your goulash to have a little bite, you can add a few drops of tabasco.

The way that I thicken the sauce is to take about one teaspoon of corn flour mixed into a little water and to stirr it into the boiling mixture. This way the cornflour gives the goulash a nice shiny appearance.

An optional extra that gives goulash a pleasant sweetish taste is to add some garden peas. I do this occaisionally for a change.

In effect Goulash is an all in meal that has a combination of protein, carbohydrate and vegetables.

I like to serve goulash in a long oval bowl on a plate with a few slices of gorgious, thick crusted caroway seed bread.

A strong red wine heps the goulash to go down a treat.

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