Friday, August 15, 2014

Hungarian Goulash

After all the travelling I am cooking again, yes and there is a lot to come. I will cook a lot of basic and simple dishes like the one we talk about in this Blog. The Goulash.

It can be an absolutely beautiful dish if properly cooked. One part that is really important is the onions. One uses a lot of onions. They don't just give a beautiful flavor, but thicken the sauce nicely too. At the end we add potatoes and because they cook in the sauce they are taking up all the flavor.
The difference here compared to other stews is that the meat does not get browned, either do the onions. Everything is cooked without giving color but as you can see on the first photo, the color at the end is still great. I have not added any stock to it. With the slow cooking and adding the salt at the beginning, all the juices from the onions and meat will come out and then the meat is braising slowly in its own juices.

As a spice we add a little bay leaves and of course caraway seeds. They are really important because they give a wonderful new level to the dish, something that makes your Goulash different and at the same time more original. Just be careful that you don't add too much to the dish.
What I find amazing cooking here in Maldives is that I am constantly exposed to Indian and Sri-Lankan cooking. Especially in Indian cuisine one finds often the gravy which is based on onions and like with the Goulash onions, it thickens the dish apart from giving it a lot of flavors. So even these two cuisines are so different in many ways....there are some similarities.
So try it out, the recipe is really simple and try to buy a lower cut of the beef, something from the leg that needs long cooking. There the meat has much more flavor which will add to the dish. Just take your time with cooking, it really has to simmer very slowly and would actually work well if cooked in the oven

So here is the recipe which is enough for 10 friends, because like this you can freeze some if you have less over for dinner

1.5 kg (2,5 lbs) Beef cubes
750 (1,5 lbs) g Onion
75 ml (3 oz) Oil
400 g (1 lbs) Red Peppers
400 g (1 lbs) Tomatoes
60 g (2 oz) Sweet Paprika powder
8 g (0.3 oz) Caraway seeds
2 ea Bay leaves
15 g (o,5 oz) Salt

Cut the beef in 30 g cubes
Cut the onions in a fine julienne
Sweat the onions in the hot oil
Add the beef cubes and sweat at low heat
Add all the spices, red peppers and tomatoes
Stir well then simmer with the lid for 1.5 hours or till the meat is starting to get tender
Add the potatoes which are cut in 1 cm cubes
Simmer till all is soft but the potatoes are still whole
Season to taste
Serve with homemade Spaetzle

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