>> Thursday, November 19, 2009
Goulash is a stew usually with beef, peppers and paprika and it originally comes from Hungary. This is also very popular outside of Hungary in countries like Czech Republic, Austria,Germany, Poland and many Slavic countries. It is also popular in Canada and the USA because of the immigrants from these countries. Doing a quick search I found that all these countries have different varieties of Goulash and are served with all sorts of pastas,rice, and vegetables. I also found that Goulash is eaten in Italy, though I have never seen or tried an Italian Goulash. But today I am going to be concentrating on one version of Czech Gouláš (Goulash).
A typical Czech Goulash found in many homes and restaurants is cooked with beef, paprika and served with bread dumplings called Knedliky. Goulash seems to be one of those dishes that has many varieties and one where every family has a unique recipe they like and use. One day I had two Czech friends giving me recipes and disagreeing on what spices to us in their Goulash. I can tell you from personal experience that just going to different restaurants in Prague serving traditional Czech cuisine, you will be served and taste different versions of Goulash. I have had Goulash cooked with peppers, served with potato pancakes, some spicy versions, some using caraway, some with potatoes, some with beans, some with cabbage, some with beer added to the stew..... well you get the point.
This first version of Czech Gouláš (Goulash) I'm sharing is the first one I learned to cook and it incorporates some typical Czech spices. In the coming months I will post other versions of Goulash to share with you, and who knows maybe it will be come one of your favorites too. Traditionally lard is used but I don't like to use it and I replace it with vegetable oil. In the next post I will show you how to make the Knedliky ( bread dumplings) .
Goulash Ingredients: serves 4
600 grams (1.33 lbs) stewing beef
10 grams (2 TBS) tomato paste
3. The last step is to thicken the stew, you'll need a bowl, a ladle or large spoon and a whish. Put the flour in a bowl and scoop a ladle full of the sauce, try not to scoop out the beef or peppers, or you can use tap water instead. Little by little add some of the sauce/water and whisk briskly to prevent lumps, keep whisking and add as much sauce/water as you need to make a roux.
4. Pour the roux into the Goulash, and slowly stir to combine. Stew for another 8-10 minutes making sure the ingredients are well combined. Taste the Goulash and if needed add more salt. I usually end up adding a pinch more of caraway and majoram, and paprika I end up adding another spoonful. But this is up to you and your taste.