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Hungarian Gulyas "Goulash"

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  • Anton32828
    Club Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 132
    • Weber 22 inch kettle grill
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    Hungarian Gulyas "Goulash"

    I went to Hungary a year or two after the Berlin wall fell. I didn't know much about Hungarian food, so everything was a really great new experience. The biggest surprise was Goulash, which in my prior American experience had been a thick brown stew with not much to recommend it other than "hot" and "nutritious," at the risk of "starchy" and "a way to use leftovers."

    Authentic Hungarian goulash is a rich, delicious soup. It's substantial enough to be a meal, but it's definitely not supposed to be a thick stew. It this regard it's kind of like gumbo; a soup that can be a main dish.

    When the internet started to take off, I went looking for recipes to re-create the version I remembered from Budapest. I was lucky to find some blogs in English run by two different Hungarian women. I tried their recipes, converted kilograms to US measurements, and then tweaked things a bit until I got the version I remembered from my travels. Here it is.

    This recipe makes about 3.5 quarts and serves six to eight people.

    1.5 to 2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1/2 inch rough cubes
    1 jumbo or 2 medium yellow onions, diced
    1 large or two medium potatoes, peeled & diced
    2 carrots (or 1 carrot & 1 parsnip), sliced into rounds
    2 stalks celery, diced
    2 cloves minced garlic
    2 green bell peppers, diced (this is a substitution for Hungarian green peppers, which I could not find in the US)
    One 8-oz can of tomato sauce, or 1 TBS tomato paste
    Two to four TBS sweet Hungarian paprika. The brand "Szeged" is what I use, since I can find it locally at Publix
    1 tsp caraway seeds
    One bay leaf
    One quart water
    2 tsp kosher salt
    Vegetable oil or lard (traditional)
    1 TBS white vinegar

    Accompaniments:
    Sour cream for garnshing
    Tabasco sauce (if you want to Americanize the taste a bit)

    If you serve it as a soup, it's ladled into bowls as-is. If you want to make a meal out of it, add one of the following:
    Pasta or egg noodles for serving (1.5 cups dried, cooked per package instructions)
    Or, gnocchi for serving. Use the 1 lb package from "Vigo" or similar store brands.

    Use a 6 quart soup pot or dutch oven to make this.

    Method:

    1) Saute the onions in oil or lard on medium heat until they are translucent. Add the garlic & stew meat.
    2) Cook the meat until it loses its red color and releases its juices. You are NOT trying to brown the meat. The Hungarians were all pretty unanimous on this point, & regard browning the meat as "Frenchifying" their national dish.
    3) Add the paprika & caraway seeds. Stir frequently for 3 minutes until the paprika loses it's raw smell. Be careful not to burn it.
    4) Add the water & bay leaf. Bring the soup to a simmer and add the diced potatoes. Simmer for 1/2 hour.
    5) Add the carrots, celery, and tomato sauce. Simmer for another 1/2 hour.
    6) Add the peppers and salt to the pot. Simmer for another 1/2 hour.
    7) Check the salt & adjust as needed. Check the meat for tenderness. Simmer until tender.
    8) Stir in the vinegar to finish the soup.

    Serving: ladle into bowls and garnish with a spoon of sour cream in the middle.

    Some notes:

    Gulyas is a folk dish. There are probably as many ways to make it as there are Hungarian grandmothers. Your family recipe may be a lot different than this one. If so, I'd love to hear it!

    The paprika is the star of this dish. Find good Hungarian paprika to use. Standard grocery-store Amercan paprika does not have the flavor of Hungarian paprika.

    Serving it over pasta or egg noodles is probably an Austrian thing, but it's good and makes a filling meal.

    Several of the Hungarian recipes called for cooking "nokedli" (like spaetzle) in the soup. That's where I go the idea to serve my goulash with gnocchi. It's sure not authentic, but it's a good meal. When I use gnocchi I cut the potato used in the recipe by half.

    Enjoy!
  • Mr. Bones
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    #2
    This sounds delicious, Brother!

    Many Thanks fer sharin it up with us!

    Comment

    • Willard
      Club Member
      • Apr 2018
      • 802
      • Leesburg, Fl.

      #3
      Sure looks like a winner. I just need to find the Hungarian paprika. My wife and I would both love a recipe like this. Thanks for sharing!

      Comment


      • Anton32828
        Anton32828 commented
        Editing a comment
        Check Publix. They have it in Orlando. Leesburg should have it too. If not there’s always Amazon!
    • smokin fool
      Club Member
      • Apr 2019
      • 866
      • Mississauga, Ont

      #4
      It can be hard to find up here too but most grocery stores here have an International food section being as its so multi-cultural now.

      Comment

      • Donw
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 2132

        #5
        Thank you. Sounds delicious and putting it on my list.

        Comment

        • AverageJoe
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          #6
          Anton32828 Thank you so much for the recipe. I am going to grab the ingredients and give this a go with the Hungarian paprika gift that I got.

          Comment


          • Anton32828
            Anton32828 commented
            Editing a comment
            Cool! Let us know how it goes!
        • Bkhuna
          Club Member
          • Apr 2019
          • 356
          • Merritt Island Florida

          #7
          Mmmmmmmmmm.

          Szeged also has a line of seasoning. The chicken rub is terrific. If you pester the folks at Publix enough, they can get it sometimes. Maybe if enough of us are interested, we can split a case. I've ordered a couple of cans at a time from Amazon, but it isn't the most cost effective.

          Comment

          • FireMan
            Charter Member
            • Jul 2015
            • 6714
            • Bottom of Winnebago

            #8
            This may open things to a lot of back & forth, but there is evidence that chili is a long distant decsendant of gulyas. There is a recipe that I used years back that called for a cup or two of paprika & there was no tomato in the mix.

            Comment


            • Anton32828
              Anton32828 commented
              Editing a comment
              I’ve thought that a few times myself. I think the San Antonio “Chili Queens” are clearly the source of what we call chili today. But since “gulyas” means cowboy in Hungarian, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a bunch of Hungarian immigrants trying their luck in the American West during the gold rush and bringing their recipes with them. Your “chili” recipe sounds like it came straight from a family of homesick Hungarians stranded in the Midwest!
              Last edited by Anton32828; June 18th, 2019, 06:22 AM. Reason: Posted before coffee.

            • Bkhuna
              Bkhuna commented
              Editing a comment
              That depends on your definition of chili. But that's a different thread.
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            #9
            Thank you, Anton32828 , for the recipe and for the interesting writeup. How funny to think that browning the meat is "Frenchifying" to the Hungarian cook. You should write for a food magazine.

            Have you tried it with the Szeged's Hot Hungarian paprika? I'd be more interested in a hotter flavor profile.

            Kathryn

            Comment


            • Anton32828
              Anton32828 commented
              Editing a comment
              No, I haven't. But if you post your chicken paprikash recipe with the hot paprika, I'll try that!

            • Anton32828
              Anton32828 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the compliment! Nobody ever thought of me as a food writer before. I'm an engineer. Once I get interested in something, I can't leave it alone until I figure out where it came from and how it works (and, ideally, how to hack it). My first real food saga was learning how to make gumbo as a born & raised New Yorker (as far from roux and Andouille as you can get, I think, without crossing an ocean). That's a ridiculous and lengthy story for another time!

            • Bkhuna
              Bkhuna commented
              Editing a comment
              I have. It's my standard stock hot paprika because I can get it at the supermarket a few blocks away. When it's been open for a while, it's easy to toss and and replace. I can't really comment on the flavor but I like it.
          • Willard
            Club Member
            • Apr 2018
            • 802
            • Leesburg, Fl.

            #10
            I was recently reviewing online sources for herbs and spices, such as Penzey’s, though I’ve yet to make a purchase. Are these good sources for the paprika? I’m now getting emails from others but are there better options? Not just the paprika but the other herbs and spices.

            Comment


            • Willard
              Willard commented
              Editing a comment
              Also let me apologize. There is probably a better thread for this but since the subject of the Hungarian Paprika came up, blah blah blah...

            • Anton32828
              Anton32828 commented
              Editing a comment
              I like Penzey's, though I have not tried them for Hungarian paprika. They are an awesome spice company. Pricey, but good. You can get good spices at Amazon that are hard to find at your local grocery. I have used Amazon for smoked Spanish paprika. I know you can get good Hungarian paprika from Amazon too. Look for "Szeged" at your local grocery --- they are fairly common.
          • ofelles
            Club Member
            • Jun 2018
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            #11
            Another add to my long and growing list. Thanks Anton32828 Big fan of soups and stews.

            Comment

            • texastweeter
              Club Member
              • Jul 2017
              • 2267
              • Republic of Texas

              #12
              gonna try this or next week. Gnocchi it is!

              Comment

              • treesmacker
                Club Member
                • May 2018
                • 631
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                #13
                Saved this to my OneNote. One thing I like with OneNote is when I cut and paste from AmazingRibs it places a link to the original post at the bottom. Thanks for sharing - I definitely would like to try this!

                Comment

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