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Build a Better Goulash and They Will Come

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
pvd wrote something in the "soaked" thread that got me thinking:

I read your post in the wine thread. You have a major goulash Jones.

Loin isn't a good choice for goulash, or for long simmering in general, either. It's too expensive, and the muscle structure is wrong. The meat is tender before it cooks. When you simmer it, it will toughen when it goes into the pot and begins to cook, become increasingly dry and tasteless as it cooks through, and finally get stringy and fall apart. Between the last two is a brief transit through tender and flavorful, but it's hard to time. If you must use loin for a soup, stew or other similar application it should be for something which comes together quickly. Chile verde for instance.

For goulash, shoulder is best, especially a piece of the picnic called "cushion meat." "Country spare ribs" work nicely as well.

Loin is best cut into large pieces and roasted, "steaked" into chops, or cut as escalope, cutlet, or schnitzels.

Something you might like is a more refined version of goulash which reflects a contemporary vision of a traditional dish, adding some luxury and refined simplicity. This one does use pork tenderloin. I'm going to assume you know how to make a thick goulash. If you like, or anyone else for that matter, we can discuss that as well.

Prepare a goulash in your usual way, using inexpensive meat on the bone, carrots, onions, celery, etc., but no potatoes or mushrooms. When the sauce is thick and flavorful, strain it. Return the sauce to the pot, and discard the, meat, herbs and vegetables. Soften some pearl onions and chopped bell pepper in butter. Add some chopped carrots and sliced mushroom. Cook until the mushrooms begin to wilt, season with salt and pepper. Stir the vegetables and their cooking juices (including the butter) into the sauce. Stir to combine, and hold warm.

Truss (optional), season (salt, pepper, paprika, granulated onion and garlic) and pan roast a pork tenderloin to medium or medium-well. Medium is around 145F, but many people prefer pork more well done, at least 155F (medium-well) but trichinosis is no longer an issue. Choose according to your preferred texture. After the pork has reached its desired doneness, remove it from the pan and allow it to rest covered, for 7 - 10 minutes.

While the tenderloin rests, deglaze the pan with some red wine -- an Egri "Bull's Blood," would be a good choice. Add the goulash sauce to the deglaze and hold warm in the pan until ready to plate.

When the tenderloin has finished resting, carve it on the bias. Cover a plate with some of the sauce, and shingle a few slices of tenderloin on it. Nap a line of sauce over the tenderloin without covering it completely. Garnish the plate with buttered pasta or sauteed potatoes, and sprigs of fresh herbs. Then sprinkle plenty of chopped parsley over all.

post #2 of 10
I thought Transylvanian goulash (Szekely gulyas) had caraway-sauerkraut and sour cream in it. What you've made here is sort of like porc bourguignon, if there is such a thing. I don't know if that's significant or deliberate, but you asked for feedback.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Fair point. However, I didn't say anything about Transylvanian goulash. pvd has three goulash posts up, one Transylvanian, one Hungarian and the other generic asking about wine with goulash. My post could have and maybe should have been clearer. I wasn't attempting to post a recipe for any particular goulash, but rather to describe a technique which combines premium meat cuts, which don't do well with long cooking, with the kind of sauces and gravies, which only come from long stewing.

The post was meant to be purely technique driven, which is why I didn't wirte a formal recipe presentation with an included ingredient list.

On the other hand, I wanted to provide a little more guidance than the two sentences which would have been sufficient for someone already familiar with some but not all of the techniques involved.

Making a stew and pan roasting a piece of meat were techniques which probably didn't need much introduction. The concept of combining them by making a stew (or goulash), discarding the tired meat and vegetables, and replacing them with fresher and better is a new idea to many people. Yet it's a staple of high-end cuisine.

This is sounding too defensive. Chris, I really appreciate your input. You're darn good at food, and a gifted editor. Point appreciated and taken. I'm not planning to rewrite this beyond removing the "Transylvanian" from the originating quote, but next time I do something like it, I'll be more clear that it's the technique, not the particular recipe, and be more inclusive with my examples.

post #4 of 10
Didnt Dracula come from Transylvania?

When we made traditional Hungarian Beef Goulash we used either Arm Chuck, or Bottom Rounds the tougher the meat the longer it cooked the better, we served it mit spetzle and sauteed caraway cabbage, not red cabbage. A true classic and great dish.

P/s I have seen stews and goulashes cooked with filet tips and chain meat from the tenderloin. It is handled different as these are tender to start. The meat is quickly sauteed and the hot stew gravy poured over it for a short time and served. Its ok but nothing like the flavor of long slow cooked.:chef:
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Look. You make a goulash with the cheapest possible meat, cook it til the meat and vegetables lose all flavor, then strain it. Then you make a nice piece of meat and slice it. Then you garnish the meat with the sauce and whatever vegetables are appropriate. It's not true goulash, home cooking, authentic, regional, nor does it attempt to be any of those things. It's a way of having great meat with a whiff of goulash. It's its own thing it is it is.

Just shoot me,
post #6 of 10

my dad is austrian and he will make goulash of an Austrian or hungarian style

he does not use sour cream

he says that some people in some places do but to him, the addition of sour cream is a different dish and not an austrian or austro hungarian goulash. i dont think the austrian gypsies use sour cream either... also he stressed to add the sour cream at the end so as not to curdle it.

I do not know his recipe but I know that he slowly browns a lot of onions.. i am sure he sues bayleaf and of course, a nice amount of paprika... (he uses sweet paprika form spain or hungary ad not the smoked kind, i suppose they would use smoked paprika every now and then though!)

he loves to use beef shank for the meat (good gelatin, bone in, not as expensive as oxtail which is also a good choice of meat) but has used country style ribs too. i like it with beef shank or oxtail. he was very poor growing up so goulash was usually a bean and veggie soup with no meat at all. beef shank and oxtail were cheaper cuts, used if available... as said above, country ribs and bottom rounds also sound delicious (i have not had it with bottom round or arm chuck!) now in America oxtail is one of the more expensive cuts, unfortunately!

he serves it with nokernl which are boiled dumplings made out of a flour water and egg paste (might have other ingredients too)

they are boiled in slated water, not in the goulash itself.
post #7 of 10
I think you mean Knödel, bascially a big boiled dumpling. Also called Klösse. I prefer Spätzle, which is small boiled dumpling. I didn't make it to Austria but to me, your term looks like a dialect declension corruption of lecker meaning delicious. But there's lots of that sort of thing in the local German dialects.

Schwabisch was much tougher than Bayrisch.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #8 of 10
the word is nokerln. i spelled it wrong

and u may be right about the etymology, I will find out how this all relates.

knodel is familiar to me i know we have talked about it and eaten it, but the word I associate with some types of little austrian flour (mehl) dumplings is nokerln. there are lots of knodels too. like damson filled (gefulte knodel) knodel and topfenknodel and mohnknodel

nokerln is possibly a dumpling made with a batter like a pancake batter? runny and not "doughy" ?

by the way there is a famous nokerln, the soulfe like salzburg nokerln

im researching it.

i guess people say it is an austrian or hungarian version of gnocchi

the texture is kinda sorta similar although there is no potato. although maybe gnocchi doesnt have to be made from potato

Schwabisch Bayrisch... dialects?
post #9 of 10
Ah, you mean nockerl, at least that's the more common name.

And yes, those are Southern German dialects. Some translations of Huckleberry Finn used Bayerisch to substitute for the Southern US dialect.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
If German as spoken in what was the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a "southern German dialect," than nockerl is a common southern German food. Which is to say it's Austrian/Hungarian and known as "nockerl." Think of them as long spaetzel, unless they're the dessert nockerl aka Salzburger nockerl which are something else entirely.

There are a gazillion names for the zillion types of dumpling/noodles running around metteleurope. And of course there are some overlapping terms, and particular dishes who have a variety of names.

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