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Goulash

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi,

Me again.

 

Sunday, me and the missus went out for lunch at a local diner and one of the specials of the day was Goulash. Well, I had to order it, which I did. (An old girlfriend used to make this dish and it was unbelievable, like heaven on earth. Sweet, fork-tender meat, just the right consistency for the sauce, egg noodles... ah man, It was awesome!) Of course, I didn't tell the wife of that awesome meal.

 

Anyway, what I got was not what I expected; it was served over a bed of egg noodles but it was more of a tomato-like sauce. It had pieces of tomato in it and the sauce was kind of orangey. It was also rather greasy, the meat was very good though, but - I was to say the least, disappointed.

 

So now I'm on a mission, does someone have a recipe out there that will bring me back to the good old days of fork-tender meat and perfect brown sauce, back to 'heaven on earth"?

 

Red.

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post #2 of 11

Goulash is basically a stew from Hungarian origine. It contains a lot of powdered paprika, thé Hungarian speciality.

 

Get some cheap cuts of beef and cut into small chunks; 3/4 of an inch cubes are fine. Don't make this with less than 2 lbs (1kilo) meat, 3 lbs (1,5 kilo) is a minimum for good result. Good news; goulash can be frozen.. Tastes also better the day after, like most stews!

 

Chop some onions and a lot of garlic.

Get a cooking pot and a frying pan, this works easier. Start by gently sweating the onions and garlic in the cooking pot, on the lowest fire. Stir from time to time. Don't let them color! Also throw in a chopped deseeded red chilli. Do not use those tiny very hot chillies at this stage. Chilli becomes hotter and hotter during the cooking time. If your chillies are too hot, throw them in later in the cooking process.

 

Now, the trick to get a dark sauce, is to brown the meatcubes nicely. So, take your time to do this. Put your frying pan on high fire with some sunflower oil and throw a small batch of meatcubes in, one at a time, not all together. The pan cannot be filled!!! Let's say maximum 3/4 full, less is better. Do not touch or stir the meat at all. Just let it color, then turn the cubes and proceed like this until all the cubes are nicely browned, this will color the sauce dark. 

 

Put them in the cooking pot where your onions are. Immediately salt and pepper the meatcubes and sprinkle (dust) a little flour over them. Add another batch of meatcubes to your pan and fry the same way (you may have to add some oil). Also add to the cooking pot and sprinkle with flour. Keep frying your meat until all cubes are browned. Don't worry when the pan gets all darkbrown! Just continue and add some oil when necessary.

 

Get the fire under the cooking pot just a little higher and mix the meat/onion mixture. Let fry for a minute so the flour can cover all the meat. Chop some ripe tomatoes (roma-style plum tomatoes) and put in the cooking pot.

Now, don't forget the frying pan, which bottom now is all covered with brown meatresidu. We absolutely need that, it's packed with meatflavor! Pour some red wine in the pan while still hot and stir until all brown residu is in the wine. Add that liquid to the cooking pot. Now you need to fill the cooking pot until the liquid barely covers the meat. Use a 50/50 ratio wine/water or add a little stock too. Add a few tablespoons of sweet paprika powder. Absolutely do not use smoked powder, it will overpower everything! Add also a small tbsp of tomato paste. Add herbs like oregano, thyme, bay leaf...

 

Turn the heat down and let simmer slowly for at least 90 minutes or until the meat is tender. Taste for salt and pepper. Done! I like to serve that with some humble boiled rice.


Edited by ChrisBelgium - 3/2/11 at 6:56am
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

ChrisBelgium,

Awesome detailed recipe, thank you very much.

I will try it one night this week.

 

Red.

When it's smoking, it's smoking!
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post #4 of 11

Nice recipe Chris.

I'd never thought of popping chilli in there, often I'll use capsicum instead.  So it's not a true goulash I just like the taste, it goes well with the paprika.

 

A good splodge of soured cream adds to the dish when serving, for me.  That's my mutant goulash :)

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #5 of 11

Hungarian Beef Goulash usually served mit spaetzel and or egg noodles

 

Dredge meat in seasoned flour with dark hungarian paprika added (NOT SPANISH RED)  (Chuck or Bottom Round or even Shin can be used)

Saute till browned all sides stir and scrape bottom of pan

Lower flame add diced onion thyme, bay leaf, caraway seed, hint garlic and more paprika s&p

Add good beef stock or 1/2 beef  1/2 chicken( store bought is OK)

In some households a cup of Rhine wine was added.

simmer on top of stove or put whole pot in 350 oven till meat tender

 

In Germany and Hungry and other Slavic countries Goulash was made in winter monthes Notice it contains no potato or other veges. The winters were so harsh that there was none to be had and the veges from the storage cellars were depleted. It was a savory and stick to the ribs dish that the men loved . Sometime if a deer were caught and slaughtered it would be used as would Hare (bigRabbits). The leftover was sometimes chopped up and served on Slabs of Rye bread almost like our sloppy joe's.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #6 of 11

@chefedb; Well Ed, the eternal discussion wether to flour before or after searing the meat in stews pops up again. I always flour after searing, since the flour has only one purpose; to thicken the sauce. Also, you will not be able to nicely brown (caramelize) the meatcubes when they are floured before searing! This browning is essential in a stew, to color the sauce darker and thus to reach maximum flavor.

But, as always, there are as much recipes as there are cooks for any stew...

 

@DCSunshine; I love just the one chilli pepper in it, enough to get some warmth and depth of flavor. I like the sourcream suggestion!

You make a mutant goulash? Same remark as to Ed;...there are as many recipes as there are cooks for any stew...  mine included!

 

@Redvan; enjoy!

post #7 of 11

 Chris ! 

I was taught from when I was 15 to do this way, and when I worked in Europe. Nothing wrong with your way. I am so used to doing this way and all my formulas and recipes are geared for this way guess I will never change.Flour helps seal the meat and retains some juices also adds to fond. Nothing burns if you stir and watch it.


Edited by chefedb - 3/5/11 at 2:20pm

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #8 of 11

I have learned never to flour before searing.  The flour burns and the meat doesn't sear.  Maybe it's my technique but in my kitchen this goes very wrong.  I add the flour to the softened onions.

 

I love goulash.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

 Chris ! 

I was taught from when I was 15 to do this way, and when I worked in Europe. Nothing wrong with your way. I am so used to doing this way and all my formulas and recipes are geared for this way guess I will never change.Flour helps seal the meat and retains some juices also adds to fond. Nothing burns if you stir and watch it.



Chef Ed,

I do it the same as you.  European upbringing, that's just how it was taught to me, and it is manageable, as you say, if you stir it.  Just can't get the heat too high and you'll be right.

 

With curries, I treat them completely differently.  Toast spices with onions and garlic etc until fragrant, add meat and brown in the mix, add flour, add stock and other sauces/stock till smooth, let simmer till meat is tender.  Add more stock/water if you don't want a dryish curry.

 

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post

Goulash is basically a stew from Hungarian origin. It contains a lot of powdered paprika, the Hungarian specialty.

 

Get some cheap cuts of beef and cut into small chunks; 3/4 of an inch cubes are fine. Don't make this with less than 2 lbs (1kilo) meat, 3 lbs (1,5 kilo) is a minimum for good result. Good news; goulash can be frozen.. Tastes also better the day after, like most stews!

 

Chop some onions and a lot of garlic.

Get a cooking pot and a frying pan, this works easier. Start by gently sweating the onions and garlic in the cooking pot, on the lowest fire. Stir from time to time. Don't let them color! Also throw in a chopped deseeded red chilli. Do not use those tiny very hot chillies at this stage. Chilli becomes hotter and hotter during the cooking time. If your chillies are too hot, throw them in later in the cooking process.

 

Now, the trick to get a dark sauce, is to brown the meatcubes nicely. So, take your time to do this. Put your frying pan on high fire with some sunflower oil and throw a small batch of meatcubes in, one at a time, not all together. The pan cannot be filled!!! Let's say maximum 3/4 full, less is better. Do not touch or stir the meat at all. Just let it color, then turn the cubes and proceed like this until all the cubes are nicely browned, this will color the sauce dark. 

 

Put them in the cooking pot where your onions are. Immediately salt and pepper the meatcubes and sprinkle (dust) a little flour over them. Add another batch of meatcubes to your pan and fry the same way (you may have to add some oil). Also add to the cooking pot and sprinkle with flour. Keep frying your meat until all cubes are browned. Don't worry when the pan gets all darkbrown! Just continue and add some oil when necessary.

 

Get the fire under the cooking pot just a little higher and mix the meat/onion mixture. Let fry for a minute so the flour can cover all the meat. Chop some ripe tomatoes (roma-style plum tomatoes) and put in the cooking pot.

Now, don't forget the frying pan, which bottom now is all covered with brown meatresidu. We absolutely need that, it's packed with meatflavor! Pour some red wine in the pan while still hot and stir until all brown residu is in the wine. Add that liquid to the cooking pot. Now you need to fill the cooking pot until the liquid barely covers the meat. Use a 50/50 ratio wine/water or add a little stock too. Add a few tablespoons of sweet paprika powder. Absolutely do not use smoked powder, it will overpower everything! Add also a small tbsp of tomato paste. Add herbs like oregano, thyme, bay leaf...

 

Turn the heat down and let simmer slowly for at least 90 minutes or until the meat is tender. Taste for salt and pepper. Done! I like to serve that with some humble boiled rice.


ChrisBelgium,

Absolutely perfect recipe, finally got everyone together for a sit-down dinner and made the dish, wow, wife was impressed! Gave you the credit of course and then after reading it, she mentioned something that I realized too; when someone shares a recipe, there are things, little details, that get left out so when you're following it, suddenly you get to a point where you say " now what?" maybe that's their way of keeping what's theirs theirs, I'm not sure. That didn't happen with your recipe, excellent detail and instruction.

 

Everything came together perfectly, except for one mistake on my part. I covered the meat with 100% beef stock, not the mix you recommended so at the end, the gravy was very strong.

 

I have a question, maybe it's a chef secret but, at the end, the meat I used; chuck, was tender but dry and gray looking inside. What type of meat do pro's use to get fork-tender meat that's moist and rosy inside?

 

I have seen meat dishes, like the one that started this, where the interior of the meat is rosy yet tender, not as in medium-rare, like a steak but well cooked yet colorful inside.


Red.

When it's smoking, it's smoking!
Reply
When it's smoking, it's smoking!
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post #11 of 11

Red, so glad you and your family liked the recipe. I'm not a pro though, just an amateur cooking for the past 30+ years with passion. On the meat thing turning gray and dry, I would guess it's too high cooking temperature. When cooking stews like this, patience is a great thing. Turn the heat down to 1/4th of it's maximum capacity, or better yet, an occasional "bloob" instead of heavily boiling is what we are looking for. Also, tasting is so important. Cut or take a small piece out after the cooking period and taste. If not tender, go for another extra 15-30 minutes.

I'm very sure your next try will turn out perfectly!

 

What meat should you choose? I'm in a fortunate position; in my country you can by beef or pork for stews, already cut in mostly too big chunks that you can chop up into the right size. I always go for that, it's mainly cheap cuts, but don't ask me what exactly.

Maybe a pro around here can advise on what meat to choose?

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