Hungarian Goulash (Goo-yash)
Goulash. Everyone has a different idea of what goulash should be. If you travel to Hungary you will see that it is a delicious soup with lots of paprika served with some delicious fresh bread. Travel to The United States and it's an elbow pasta dish with meat and tomatoes.
When living in Hungary, we were invited to a goulash party where we all pitched in to prepare the meal. Some chopped, others cubed, and we all diced. Once everything was prepared we put all the items in the pot over a backyard fire and sat around to talk. Some of our friends didn't speak any English, and we only could speak some Hungarian, but we all were able to sit and laugh while preparing the meal and eating it. Food has a way of bringing people together, and I am thankful for the experience we had.
Today we are going to explore Hungarian Goulash. This dish is a staple Hungarian meal that is served all throughout the year and is essentially a comfort food. I am excited to share it with you all since Hungary is basically my second home! Hungary is an amazing country and I absolutely love the food. Hungarian food is marked by meat, potatoes and paprika. In the town I lived, we would walk down the street only to pass by at least four bakeries. All of their freshly baked breads and pastries could be smelled from the street, leaving me and my friends with our mouths watering. Whenever I passed by another restaurant that served goulash, you could smell all the spices coming from the kitchen. Ever since leaving Hungary, I have tried to replicate the recipes I frequently ate, but they all fall short of the real thing. The recipe I am using today has been adapted from one given to me and is as close as you can get without sitting in a Hungarian's kitchen!
This meal is best served warm with a couple slices of bread to dip in the soup! A fun way to bring more of the Hungarian culture into your home is by listening to some Hungarian Folk music while cooking. I could listen to this music for hours!
- Hungarians always have the fork in the left hand and knife in the right, unless eating soup. Then you have the spoon in the left hand and bread in the right!
- As a greeting, people will kiss each other's cheeks. Make sure you go to the right cheek first, then the left.
- Hungary contains the largest European lake. It is called Lake Balaton and is 47 miles long!
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 2 lb been shank or pork, cubed
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tbs paprika
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 Hungarian wax pepper (or banana pepper), chopped
- 3 russet potatoes, cubed
- 3-4 cups water
1. Saute onions in oil until clear on medium heat. Be careful not to burn the onions. Add paprika along with 1/2 cup of water. Don't be afraid to go a little hard on the paprika!
2. Once the paprika and onions are mixed, add the meat and stir. Continuing on medium heat.
3. After the meat is mostly cooked, place in crockpot on high with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Let sit for approximately 4 hours. At about 2 hours the house starts to smell amazing!
4. Serve warm with slices of sourdough or french bread. When all is said and done, I hope you are able to enjoy this amazing dish that can be made year round.
*If you do not have time to cook and then place in crockpot, you can put all ingredients into the crockpot and let sit for several hours on low.
*If you don't have enough time for a crockpot meal, you can follow instructions 1-2 the same, then place it in a pot on the stove and serve when potatoes are soft.