...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Gulyas Recipe

This is for Wichita Chris; (and for anyone who likes good food)... this is how my family back in Hungary makes gulyas, or as close as you can go in the US.

1. Melt LARD (about 2 tablespoonful) in large soup pot over medium heat. Yes, lard. I tried with olive oil too. Close, close, but something is missing.
2. Cube 1 large onion. Small cubes, from thin slices.
3. Cube about 2. 5 pounds of beef (pot roast type would do perfect; chuck or shoulder roast). Cubes should be larger than for chili but smaller than American beef stew.
4. Mince 2 garlic cloves.
5. When lard is hot and almost smoking, toss in onions and stir. Fry for about 2 mins on medium-high heat; add garlic. Stir; fry until golden.
6. Pull off heat; stir in about 2 tablespoon of Hungarian paprika, preferably the half-sharp variety. Go the extra mile and buy the real stuff; the Californian or the Spanish is just not the same for this dish. I tried. Trust me. You need to pull it off the heat so that the paprika does not go bitter.
7. At this point, put it back to the heat and add the meat when it starts sizzling again. Stir it up vigorously so the onion-paprika mix does not burn at bottom of pan. Continue to stir until beef cubes are brown.
8. Stir in about 1 teaspoonful of caraway seeds.
9. Here the meat should start give out some juices. Good. Theoretically, at this point, contrary to whyat bad cookbooks tell you, you DO NOT/SHOULD NOT need to add any water yet. Keep stirring.
10. When you have enough liquid, leave the pot for long enough to chop up 1 large tomato and 1 banana pepper. Don't use California bell pepper, please. I have nothing against them in stir fries, salads and other dishes, but this just requires something else.
11. After adding the tomato/pepper, COVER the pot, and simmer, on medium-low, for about an hour. You may want to check first time periodically if there's enough liquid in the pot--if not, add some water, or beef stock. No bouillon cubes, please. Again, tried...
12. While it's simmering, chop up about 3-4 medium red potatoes and 3-4 medium/small size carrots. Potatoes should be cubed to about the size of the meat cubes or larger, carrots should be in chunks of about 1-2 inches long. Add these to simmering gulyas, and AT THIS POINT, you can add the extra about 6 cups of water/beef stock it needs to get enough liquid for a longer-than-stew, shorter-than-soup consistency.
13. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt (I am partial to sea salt or kosher salt) ad some ground black pepper; paprika can be added as well to adjust color and hotness.
14. Simmer until vegetables and meat are both tender.
15. There--you have authentic Hungarian gulyas. Serve with a full-bodied red wine if you are a wine drinker (I recommend a Cab Sauvignon or a Hungarian Bull's Blood) and, this is important! crusty bread so you can mop up the stew.



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