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Goulash a la Jonah

Chef Jonah: Don't touch that cauldron!


I'm Chef Jonah, and today we will talk about Goulash, one of the most characteristic Hungarian meals. As you will see in the following, it is cooked traditionally in large cauldrons outdoors. Some raised their eyebrows when they saw the end result, but I can assure you that its fiery red color can be fully attributed to the ultimate Hungarian condiment, paprika.

The following is a recipe considered by a great number of Hungarians to be one of the “most original” versions of Goulash.

Preparation time: 2.5 hrs
Level of difficulty: ☺☺

Chef Jonah: All right, I'll have to take care of this myself.

1 lb. beef chuck (stew meat, or shank meat)
3 medium size carrots (sliced)
2 medium size parsnips (sliced)
4-5 medium size potatoes (diced)
1 large onion (chopped)
1-2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
Salt to taste
1 ½ tablespoons Hungarian paprika (made in Kalocsa or Szeged)
1 bell pepper (chopped)
2-3 large tomatoes or 1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes, crushed by hand
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. lard or vegetable oil

Chef Jonah: I wonder if they totally messed it up with that extra pinch of salt...
Cut meat to 1 inch pieces and set aside.
Heat the lard or oil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. REMOVE* pan from fire, add Hungarian paprika and the meat, stir together and season with salt.

*NOTE: It is important to remember when using paprika that it has a high sugar content and burns easily. Add it only when liquid ingredients are present, and do not cook it over high heat for too long.

Add caraway seeds, the pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and the bay leaf, fill with water, stir all together, cover and let cook on a low fire, adding more water as needed.
Adjust fire so the goulash simmers very gently, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender.

Chef Jonah -- funny cat
When meat is almost done, remove the bay leaf, and add the sliced carrots, parsnips, and diced potatoes, and cook until tender. While the goulash is cooking, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serves 6

  1. Serve Goulash on a bed of egg noodles.
  2. If you use more water, you can turn it into a tasty Goulash soup.

Hungarian Goulash Soup

Bon appetit!  

Next time we will talk about  paprika cake.

Stay tuned