Czech Goulash

For the first recipe of 2017 my other half picked the country, the Czech Republic, and even found a recipe I could use on the National Geographic website. Back when I was doing bits of research in the Czech Republic I ate quite a lot of goulash, and when I took some students there in 2012 I had an amazing goulash in a little bar not far from where we were staying in Prague. Not only did it taste amazing, it was served in bread, the bread acted as the bowl. I managed not to poke a hole in it with my cutlery so the contents didn’t spread all over the place. This was by far the best meal I had in the Czech Republic and if I do go back I’ll have to see if the place is still there.

dscf9260  The recipe we found was called ‘simple Czech goulash’ and looking at the ingredients list it was easy to see why. I wanted to see if there were any other common variations for the recipe, and as is typical with a lot of stew type dishes you’ll find a whole swathe of different varieties, some which add garlic, others which add peppers or a tomato, plus a range of other ingredients. For some people goulash might be more of a hungarian dish than a czech one, but since it’s a common dish there too I’m going to use it for these purposes to tick off the Czech Republic on my ‘cook dishes from around the world’ challenge. The recipe included in this blog post represents a merge of a few different recipes. I also had a spare carrot and red pepper, and this seemed like a good opportunity to use them up. This recipe serves around 2-4 people, and we served it with some bread, although you could also opt to make some dumplings too.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3-4 onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 500g beef
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp marjoram.

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish and cook the onions for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and garlic, and cook to brown the meat.
  3. Add the paprika and cook for a minute
  4. Add the water, followed by the spices and vegetables.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring to the boil and then cover and reduce the heat to simmer for about 2 hours.
  7. Add the marjoram and cook for another 10 minutes.
  8. Check the seasoning, and then serve with bread or dumplings.

And that’s it. My version of goulash, with very little effort! If you have the time you could also do this in the slow cooker.

Hungary – Goulash

There are so many different recipes for Hungarian goulash (or Gulyás) I really found it difficult knowing which one to go with. In the end I pulled inspiration from a few (Delia Online, The Hungary DishThe Guardian, and Daring Gourmet). This probably means it is not an authentic recipe, but still takes inspiration from Hungarian influences.

Hungarian goulash recipeIngredients (Serves 4)

  • 600g braising steak, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp hungarian paprika (or other smoked sweet paprika)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 100ml red wine
  • Salt and pepper

Hungary Goulash recipeMethod

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC.
  2. Heat the oil in a casserole dish then brown the cubes of beef, a few at a time, and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped onions and celery to the dish, and cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic.
  4. Return the meat to the pan.
  5. Add flour, paprika and mix.
  6. Add the bay leaves and tomatoes. Add 200ml water and wine (or enough just to cover the mixture). Season well with salt and  black pepper.
  7. Once it reaches a simmering point, place the lid on the casserole dish and transfer to the oven to cook for 1.5 hours.
  8. Then add the chopped peppers and carrots, replace the lid and cook for another 45 minutes.

Hungarian goulash recipe

I served this with boiled rice, but it would also go well just with some bread.

Hungary recipe flag