Goulash is a tradition Hungarian stew, at times served as a soup instead of a stew with a thick, rich sauce, blending the flavors of meat such as beef, veal or pork with a medley of vegetables. Perfectly seasoned with a blend of paprika, marjoram, thyme and bay leaves, there are many goulash recipes with diverse variations. Due to the popularity of this traditional dish many versions of goulash recipe have spread, with the main varieties being Hungarian, German and American goulash. Due to goulash being the national dish of Hungary, and highly popular in Central Europe, we will be preparing an easy goulash recipe of the traditional variety whilst taking a look at basic combinations formed of this time-old favorite.
Hungarian Goulash does not rely on thickener, developing it’s thickness from the high-muscle cuts of meat used. Typically one should opt for shank, shin or shoulder cuts of veal, lamb. Hungarian goulash has numerous variations to the original recipe. Originally tomato was excluded from the meal. However it is today typically added. Gulyás à la Székely is a version of this tasty meal whereby the potatoes are reduced completely before adding sauerkraut and sour cream to the blend. Another popular variation omits the caraway seeds and potatoes, substituting kidney beans instead.
In Germany goulash is known as Gulasch, and has four basic varieties, beef, pork, venison or wild boar. German goulash is commonly served with potatoes in northern Germany, whilst white rice or noodles and dumplings in the south of Germany. Carrots are a favored addition to this cultural meal, and red wine replaces the beer. In authentic German Galasch, egg noodles are replaced by the traditional dish ‘Spaetzle’. This is a dish that results in your choice of either tiny noodles or dumplings, made from flour, eggs and milk. The dough is forced through a sieve or colander, resulting in tiny specks that are then poached before being added to the meal.
American goulash retains the characteristic flavors inherited from the beef and paprika used in traditional goulash; however this cultural dish has brought many new ingredients and flavors. Pasta such as macaroni or egg noodles are conventional and added to this fantastic one-pot meal, as are larger amounts of tomato such as canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cheese is often melted into the meal. Beer is frequently omitted from the recipe, with many other herbs and flavors added such as basil, Worcestershire sauce and green beans. American goulash is typically referred to as just goulash or at times American Chop Suey. One also finds that American goulash typically calls for ground beef as the base ingredient.
Goulash Recipe Tips
Goulash is an extremely versatile meal that rewards one with fantastic results, regardless of the ingredients used, as long as a few basic guidelines are followed. The type of meat, the duration of cooking and the addition of generous amounts of paprika are integral to a stew or soup that cannot be turned down. Here are a few basic measures to keep in mind when cooking up this fantastic one-pot wonder.
The Best Cooking Medium
Regardless of which easy goulash recipe you choose to prepare, there are a few tips that will help you to bring out the best in your meal. Homemade goulash develops the fullest flavor when cooked in a Crockpot (slow-cooker). The gentle but steady temperature ensures that the tastes of your ingredients are greatly enhanced; Crockpot Goulash recipe is a firm favorite. When cooking in a casserole dish it is recommended that you first prepare the goulash in a deep pot, before transferring to the casserole dish for finishing off in your oven. By baking your goulash in a 350 degree Fahrenheit / 200 degree Celsius oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours, covered, the dish is cooked evenly developing a flavor rivaling that if the traditional Crock pot meal in every way.
Selecting the Best Cut
If one is shopping with a higher budget, a leaner cut of beef such as rib eye steak or sirloin can be used instead of shank, neck or shoulder. Chuck should generally be avoided as it does not contain enough sinew and fat, which cooks down into richness over time. Shin is a good choice of meat that does not break the budget, matching the cooking process perfectly. One can prepare goulash with almost any cut of meat available, even though better cuts do give meatier flavor. A traditional Hungarian variation of goulash recipe even uses beef bones with added sauerkraut, this is known ‘Hamisgulyás’ roughly translating to ‘Fake Goulash’. As an alternative to mixing the spices together with the meat in the pot, your choice of beef, veal or venison can be cubed and rubbed in paprika prior to browning. When first rubbing your meat in paprika, a brown crust forms on the outside of the cubes, giving one the appearance and texture of a meal cooked over an open fire.
Extra Ingredients & Essentials
Hungarian or bell peppers can be added to the meal for those that enjoy the hot and spicy undertones; however they are omitted leaving just paprika in the traditional serving of this meal. Many goulash recipe fans profess that there is no such thing as too much paprika when cooking this irresistible meal, however that comes down to personal preference. By no means should cayenne pepper or any other spice be substituted, paprika truly makes this meal unique. When customizing a goulash recipe ensuring that you add two thirds of the quantity of onions to the quantity of meat is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind, using any onions other than red onions. Too many onions results in goulash that is too sweet, whilst too few and the full flavor does not develop. The key to flavorful goulash is to allow the flavors to simmer over a low heat across a long period of time, ensuring a slow release for the proper infusion of the irresistible-when-complete tastes.
HOMEMADE GOULASH RECIPEPrint
Viola! Homemade Goulash! Easy & tasty..