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Friday, December 30, 2016

Hungarian Gulyas Recipe

Hungarian Gulyas.

So often I see people post recipes for "traditional goulash" on Facebook, and it makes wish I could introduce them to REAL goulash, or in reality "gulyas".  Goulash is more comparable to refrigerator soup (ground beef, noodles, etc.) whereas gulyas is a hearty, traditionally made by men over a pit, beef-and-potato stew.  It's to die for!

For Christmas this year, Dan decided to make it for our family!  We don't have a fire pit, or a traditional pot called a "bogracs", but the man of the house made it, at it was amazing!  Here is my step-by-step tutorial on how to make your very own, REAL traditional Hungarian gulyas.

1/4 cup olive oil
5 medium sized onions (finely chopped)
1 whole head of garlic (finely chopped)
2 Hungarian wax peppers (chopped)
3 lbs. potatoes
4 lbs. chuck roast (cubed)
1 parsnip (sliced)
5 carrots (sliced)
2 tomatoes (chopped)
Hungarian sweet paprika (1/3 cup)
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Ground caraway to taste
1 bay leaf
Around 5 cups of water (don't add too much at once, rather as needed - start with three, then wait until after you add the potatoes - they absorb a lot of the water, add the rest then)
Yummy crusty bread (we got a sourdough at Panera)

1. First, we prepped all the ingredients.
 Cut the chuck into about 1 square inch cubes.
 Put the cut up chuck in a ziplock, and put in the fridge.
 Chop up the onions (and try hard NOT to cry) and set aside for later.
 We have been able to find Hungarian wax peppers at Publix.  
Cut them in half, remove seeds, and then chop 'em up!
 Dan got a mandolin in his stocking, and was more than happy to cut up the carrots!  Cut them up, and set them aside.
 Slice up the parsnip too.  Bag and set aside.
Chop up the tomatoes, bag and set aside.
Chop up the garlic AS FINELY AS YOU CAN, bag and set aside.
 Chop up the potatoes.  You can use any kind of potato.  Dan got these, because they didn't have to peel them, and they were small, hence less cutting.  You try to cut them to about the same size as the meat.
Dan put the potatoes in water, so they wouldn't brown, since we were cutting them a couple hours in advance.

2. Add ingredients one at a time

Choose a large pot, like a chili pot.  Place on burner, on a medium heat.  

Start with the 1/4(ish) cup of oil.  
 Once it's hot, add the onions.
 Add the garlic.
 Add the wax peppers.
 Mix all the ingredients, until the onions start to look "glassy".
 Add some salt.
 Add the pepper.

Add the beef.
 There it is!
 Start to mix it together.
 Add the paprika.  Make sure it's the sweet paprika, or you will have a VERY spice gulyas!
 That whole packet got put in there!
 Mix it around, until the beef starts to brown.
Add the tomatoes.

Add 3 cups of water.  (One recipe we found called for beef broth.)
One bayleaf.
Add parsnips.
 Put the lid on, but stir often.  After about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, (when the meat is cooked) we'll start adding the last couple ingredients.
Add the carrots.
Strain the potatoes.
 Rinse off the potatoes, to get rid of any starch that may have seeped out.
 Add the potatoes.
 Be careful of splatter!  Add 2 more cups of water.  We careful that it doesn't get too watery.  I'd wait to see how much water the potatoes sucked up.

It's all in there!  Let it all stew for another hour, again stirring it regularly.

A couple things you could add to your meal 
- Hungarians always have some kind of "pickled" veggies.  We opted for some pickles, and then Dan made a terrific cucumber salad!  (Which Aidan ate seconds, and thirds of.)  
- Of course, you'll also want to have that yummy crusty bread, to lap up any broth!
- You can also have out some "Pista", a Hungarian paprika paste, so you can customize the heat.
- The use of sour cream in gulyas varies by region, but as far as I'm concerned, there's always a little wiggle room for sour cream in Hungarian food!


Look at that gorgeous color!

There's that yummy cucumber salad too!

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