Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goulash - Take One

Remember when I said I don't like soup?  Ignore it for this post.

Mr. BM reminded me when I made this dish that I don't eat soup, I don't like soup and I complain all the time when he pulls out a can of soup.
Actually, I believe his exact words were "Um, isn't this like opening a can of Chunky soup"
OHHH EMMM GEEE it's not even like a can of waste!

Dammit.  I might like soup. Sorta.

Little background as to why I want so terribly to master this dish:
It reminds me of a time that was simple.  High School.
We, meaning a few delinquents plus me, had a local hangout that no one else seemed to go to.
It was this little cafe about a 10 minute walk from school in the "village".  I have no idea why or even how we ended up there in the first place but it quickly became our haven.
They served home made pastries, they had a teeny lunch menu and a back room that we took over every day to chat and play cards while we drank tea.  Apparently I have always loved good food, even as a teen!
We were on tabs (which I always paid on pay week), and became good friends with the owners Penny and Richard.  A lovely couple with 2 kids.  Richard was the pastry chef, Penny, I'm not really sure she could bake or cook but she played a mean game of asshole!
Every other day when I could afford it I would order the same thing.  A bowl of goulash with rye bread and butter.
Ever since then I have craved Richards goulash.  I have yet to eat anything comparable, even in my own kitchen.
This is phase one of goulash conquering.  It was good.  It wasn't Richards.  Onward I go - phase two to commence in  few weeks once the "I'm pretty sure that's soup" comments subside.
And yes, I suppose its soup. 

I'm Listening to: Bulls on Parade - Rage Against the Machine

Goulash Attempt #1

stewing beef in cubes
2 med. onions chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika (because I have some)
2 potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
beef stock
tomato paste
celery leaves
bay leaf
salt & pepper

My amounts of each item are a little of this and a touch of that so I am going to do my best at creating a recipe for you.
In a pot with a touch of oil on medium heat add the onions to sweat.  Add in the paprika and stir constantly so that it doesn't burn.  Add in the cubes of beef and brown. 

Toss in the chopped garlic and pour in the beef stock until it just covers everything (my next attempt will be with vegetable stock or maybe tomato juice and water).
Stir to combine.  Add in some salt and pepper, bay leaf.  Stir in about  tablespoon or more maybe of the tomato paste.  Put a lid on and simmer for an hour and a half.
Remove the bay leaf.  Throw in the veggies (and yes the celery leaves not the stalks) continue to simmer another hour or until the potatoes are tender.
Serve with bread - rye is the best but I didn't have any, maybe that made a bit of a difference?
Meh, I will continue my quest, unless I can find Richard somewhere out there (the cafe closed years later, likely for unpaid tabs of the other delinquents!)
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  1. Looks yummy!! :) I promise no soup comment :x

  2. HAHAHA :P all I can think of is Seinfeld - NO SOUP FOR YOU

  3. You'll find the recipe . I have faith! XOXO

  4. That looks a little different than what I've had. The "soup" is too thin...I've always had it thicker. (And if you do it that way, you can call it a stew!) ;-) I can't wait to see which one wins out!

  5. Mindy, do you have a recipe? The "Richard" goulash was thin, a traditional Hungarian style - thin...

  6. That really looks like a traditional Hungarian goulash. :)
    When I was little, I never used to like goulash. Later I found out that it was just because my grandmother (who prepared it most of the time) always managed to dry out the meat. haha

    Try adding some caraway, marjoram and a bit of lemon zest next time, that's what I was taught belongs to the Hungarian kind. :)


  7. Thanks Tobias - I didnt have any caraway (and knew I shoulda used it haha) but I neglected the marjoram (slap my hand) but the lemon zest...good call!

  8. Jum soup! Any soup is good soup. I always eat goulash soup out of a can, but you inspired me to try to make my own. Thanks!
    Have a great weekend.