Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Hungarian Goulash

So many times in the last few months, i've meant to post up several recipes, but either through a failure in taking photographs for the step-by-step, or consistently forgetting the writeup, i've not managed it. Thankfully though, as the inaugural post of 2014, i bring you one of my new favourite winter warmers - Hungarian Goulash. It's quite rich and will definitely clear your sinuses, but it's ridiculously filling, just on it's own.

You will need the following ingredients:

1 kg (2.2lb) of Diced Pork, Beef, Lamb or Chicken - use whatever you prefer.
1 large Brown or White onion
3 large Mixed Bell Peppers
4 large Garlic Cloves
1 can of Cannellini Beans
1 can of Chopped Tomatoes (optional)
300 ml (11 fl. oz) of Sour Cream
5 tablespoons of Paprika
1/2 tablespoon of Caraway Seeds
3 OXO cubes
Tomato Puree
Olive Oil
Bottle of Red Wine (cheap is ideal - i use the £3.99 Aldi stuff)

Utensils Needed:

Chef's Knife
Chopping Board
Casserole Pot with Lid (Cast iron & Enamel are ideal)
Wooden Spoon

Honestly, the prep for this is pretty simple. It's a one pot stew that takes maybe an hour, to an hour and a half to make, depending on the meat you're using. Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 2 (300° Fahrenheit / 150° Celsius) - we're going for a slow cook again.

Chop the garlic cloves up as fine as you can and leave to one side. Chop up the onion as coarse or as fine as you like, same with the peppers (although i find that thick chunks work best).

Put about a tablespoon of olive oil into the casserole dish and place on the smallest ring on the stove, at it's highest heat. Get it nice and hot, then add the garlic. Just as the garlic starts to brown, add the onions and turn the heat down low and put the lid on for about 5 minutes. The end result should look like this:

At this point, add all the peppers and the caraway seeds. Now, caraway seeds can be quite pungent, but don't be afraid to experiment with the amounts as the taste will mellow out the longer the goulash cooks. Sweat the peppers for around 5 to 10 minutes.

Once sweated, you can add the meat. If you prefer you can brown the meat off in a little oil in a separate pan first, if you prefer, however i just find it easier to add all of it to the vegetables and mix it through. Once added & mixed, again, put the lid back on for about 10 minutes.

Add the cannellini beans at this point. If you wish, you can also add canned chopped tomatoes as well, but it's not essential - on this occasion, i left them out...because i forgot. Oops!

 Put the lid back on and mix up 300ml of beef stock using the OXO cubes. Add 300ml of red wine to the stock and add it to the casserole pan. Add the paprika at this point, with about a tablespoon of tomato puree. It may seem like an excessive amount of paprika, but it'll all disappear quickly enough, and despite appearances, it won't be too overpowering. You can mix in smoked paprika as well if you like, but keep to around 5 tablespoons of paprika overall.

Make sure the tomato puree is well mixed in, it will, along with the paprika, ensure you're left with a nice, thickened broth.

Put the lid back on, leave for 10 more minutes before transferring it to your pre-heated oven. As mentioned, the cooking time overall will vary from 40 minutes to an hour and a half. Chicken and pork will only need around 40 minutes, beef & lamb will need at least an hour and a half to ensure the meat is nice & tender.

Once done however, you should end up with something that looks a bit like this:

Despite the loss of a fair bit of liquid, the stew should be thick and hearty, but for the finishing touch, and to be authentic - add the sour cream and stir well.

Ta-da! You're all done. Serving suggestions for this range from rice, to boiled/mashed potatoes, however i find that the stew is enough by itself, and needs little more than a buttered bread roll on the side of it.

Even with decent portion sizes, you should be easily able to feed four people with this - and feel them well.

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