Hungary - Goulash
Are you as happy as I am that this winter is over? While we can’t rush the winter along, if you’re craving something to warm you up, definitely give goulash a try! Even during the warmer months of spring and summer, this is a perfectly hearty and filling dish.
Goulash is a very hearty stew that is jam-packed full of flavor. Lots of richness from the veggies, and lots of flavor from the paprika. This is also a very common dish in Slovakia, where I’m originally from, but every country, every family, has their own way of making this.
This goes really well with day-old bread, potatoes, egg noodles, dumplings, and pretty much every carb you can possibly think of. There’s really no limit what you can eat this with. The best part is that this will give you several days worth of leftovers, and every day, the flavor gets better and better. The beef? More tender. Try it!
An excerpt from my cookbook: When I was younger and stayed up way too late for my own good, my dad would rely on me to put the fresh pot of goulash in the fridge when it cooled down. That never stopped me from sneaking a taste or two before putting the entire pot into the fridge. How could I resist? The entire house filled with the smell of fresh goulash.
2 tbsp oil
2 onions (chopped)
1 1/2 lbs beef chuck (cubed)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
Salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp caraway seeds
4 cups water
2 bell peppers (chopped)
2 roma tomatoes (chopped) (sub 14 oz can, diced)
1 jalapeno (chopped)(optional)
1 tbsp marjoram
1 tbsp onion (chopped)
Heat a big pot over medium-high heat. Add oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add the beef and garlic and brown on all sides. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and caraway seeds.
Pour enough water to cover the meat, about 4 cups. Cover the pot, set the temperature to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
After, mix in the bell peppers, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Stir and simmer for an additional hour. Stir in the marjoram and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The goulash is now ready to serve. If desired, garnish with chopped onion and parsley.
A lot of Americans I know who eat goulash, eat this with pasta, but I’d recommend serving with rye bread or on top of boiled potatoes. Also, this is one of those rare dishes that will taste better when you eat it the next day.
Quick tip from my mom: a lot of stews and dishes from Slovakia (and other Eastern European dishes like Hungary) rely on seasonings. Don't be afraid to adjust per your taste. If you like the smokiness from paprika, add more! This recipe is just a simple guideline, but I typically will add more of all the spices.