Thursday, January 04, 2007


Weekend Cookbook Challenge # 12 - Gulyas

  Other than Middle Eastern food, my other great food love are those from Central and Eastern Europe. I love the combinations of sour cherries and almonds, horseradish and beets with sour cream, caraway seeds and basil...One of my favorite cookery book purchases last year was Silvena Rowe's Feasts: Food for Sharing from Central and Eastern Europe, an overview of regional dishes and styles (a review will soon follow - it has been a while since I gave one!).

In Feasts, Gulyas (goulash) is given as a soup, but I doubled the amount of meat to make it more of a stew to satisfactory results. Amongst many foodies, there is much concern about being "authentic". Because gulyas is a national dish, it is difficult to find the definitive recipe. This is a dish that has been passed down from one generation to the next, with each family and region shaping the dish to its own tastes or to what is available. There are, however, the markings that define a gulyas: green peppers, caraway seeds, and loads of paprika, which gives it not only heat and sweetness, but the famous scarlet gorgeousness for which the dish is internationally recognized.

(from Silvena Rowe's Feasts: Food for Sharing from Central and Eastern Europe)

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 pounds good stewing beef, cut into 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) cubes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 tablespoons noble (sweet) paprika
4 pints (2 1/4 litres) water
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 sweet green peppers, seeded and thinly chopped
1 pound potatoes
salt and pepper

1) Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a dutch oven/heavy-bottomed casserole.
2) Add onion and saute until translucent.
3) Add beef and saute with onion until browned.
4) Stir in garlic and caraway seeds.
5) Remove dutch oven from heat and add paprika (otherwise it will turn bitter), and stir constantly until it is well absorbed by the meat.
6) Add the water, bring to a boil, then simmer for approximately one hour. Check that the meat is cooked to your liking before proceeding.
7) Add tomatoes, pepper, and potatoes, followed by salt and pepper.
8) Simmer for 30 minutes, then serve hot.

"Traditionally" one serves this with dumplings, but my angelheart Eric and I helped ourselves to toasted garlic bread. You should all know by now how much my angelheart and I love hearty food, and that is what makes this stew such a natural choice for the Weekend Cookbook Challenge. Because each ingredient is quite different, there is a trace of them all in each bite, including that one little teaspoon of bitter and mild anise flavor of the caraway seeds. The stew smells wonderful, tastes incredible, and hits the spot.

May your stewing be as enjoyable!
Posted by Picasa

Labels: ,

Like you, I find nothing quite as nourishing as thick, hearty soups and stews, especially this time of year. It's winter up here and even though we haven't had any snow yet, it's still chilly enough for a big bowl of something hot and filling to take out the chill.

Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see the roundup.
Ruth - I love the smell of the meat and aromatics as they are stewing and how sometimes the kitchen windows steam up. Always delectable and nourishing. Thanks for participating in the WCC.
Here in Estonia, gulyas (or guljašš, as it is known here) is cooked as a stew, to be served with potatoes. People always get confused when somebody offers a 'authentic' recipe for a gulyas, as that would be the soupy version:)
Pille - Yes, in "Feasts" it is presented as a soup. And that is how I have known gulyas, too, but I wanted something more substantial - and also something that would fit with the WCC :-p The best thing about this soup for me was the discovery of good paprika and I want to make caraway rolls.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?