making food from anywhere, with anything

hungarian goulash

Happy Friday!

Tonight I thought it appropriate to get in touch with some of my roots and make a traditional Hungarian dish.  That is, of course, goulash.  Goulash is a beef soup, seasoned with little more than paprika, salt and pepper.  Add-ons include–but are not limited to–potatoes, carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and tomatoes, depending on how nuanced you prefer your goulash to be.

Hungarian Goulash

As you can see, I added a fair bit to my goulash.  Parsnips, potatoes, tomato, onion, garlic, carrots and some mushrooms.


2 medium parsnips, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

6 button mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, chopped

about 1 lb stew meat

5 gold potatoes, cubed

5 cups of water

1TBSP paprika

2 bay leaves

1 sprig rosemary

salt & pepper to taste


As always, start off by chopping and mincing.  This step is actually one of my favorites because you can throw on some music and relax while you’re organizing your ingredients.

With that out of the way, rinse and pat your meat dry.  Put in a bowl, toss with some salt and pepper.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat up some olive oil over medium heat.  Throw your onion in there, and cook until it becomes translucent (about 1-2 minutes).  Then, crank up the heat to high and throw your meat in.  Stir it around, making sure to brown all the sides evenly.  Once you’ve gotten your meat to a color of your liking, put in the garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and parsnips.  I added my tomatoes at this stage, but you can hold off and wait until you add the potatoes to do that.  Sprinkle some of the paprika in, stir, then add the rest.

Once those ingredients have gotten to know one another, add the 5 cups of water.  At this point, you can add more paprika, salt and pepper if you want. You can even add some tomato paste (I did).  Add the bay leaves and rosemary (totally optional).  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.

Take a break, get some reading done, vacuum, watch a movie…..take a nap…..whatever.  Just come back after 45 minutes.

Ahhh, doesn’t that smell delicious?  You’re not done yet, though.  Now it’s time to add the potatoes.  You can add the tomatoes now, too if you didn’t do it before.  Throw your potatoes in there, and simmer uncovered for another 20-25 minutes, or until they’re tender.

Serve with some crusty bread, some rice, or a salad.  Egg noodles would be good, too.  I love this dish.  It’s very simple, very traditional.  I think it really says something about the culture from which it came.  It also makes tons of leftovers (for one person it did, anyway).


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