It is finally Winter in Nashville. Real Hungarian Goulash is on the menu. Big chunks of beef, potatoes, parsnips and carrots in a paprika riddled broth. Hot and steaming with crusty pieces of bread for dipping.
This past summer I was traveling with friends and we spent some time in Hungary. Budapest in particular. I fell in love with the city and its food. One of my goals was to eat real goulash soup. Bowls and bowls of it. Goulash, or Gulyas, is a cross between a soup and a stew. There are thousands of variations with everyone having their own family twist. Named for Hungarian herdsman or gulyas it is truly a dish of the people. I went…I saw….
I ate…and ate….
Budapest is a large, bustling city on the Danube with lots of old world charm. Like a frame from an old black and white movie taking place “behind the iron curtain”, the city seems caught between “then and now” in many ways. Haunting and beautiful, ancient and modern. A history of conflict, war, terror, lovely avenues, culinary delights and art all mish-mash together to create the whole.
The three of us were smitten. Within weeks of our return home, the massive wave of Syrian immigrants were on the move across Europe trying to reach a safe haven in a welcoming Germany, crossing the borders of Hungary to get there. To our sadness the Hungarian government behaved very badly in this crises of humanity. Should I write about our trip..what we saw and ate? Should I share something I had so enjoyed when later disappointment clouded my outlook?
As food is a universal language with no allegiance to governments I decided that to not write this post about Budapest and Hungarian Goulash would be as silly as when people in this country refused to eat French Fries in response to France not agreeing with our invasion of Iraq. A very silly response to a very serious situation.
So enjoy these photos and this recipe as good food is the lingua franca of people all over the world.
Really good paprika is the key to an authentic Hungarian Goulash ,or Gulyas. It is to be found everywhere in Budapest and I stocked up on both sweet and hot. There are good paprikas from Hungary found in most large supermarkets in the USA as well as online sources.
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 2 lbs lean beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
- salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 3 tsp dried marjoram leaves
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 carrots, cubed
- 2 parsnips, cubed
- 1 1/2 lbs new potatoes, cubed
- Saute onions in olive oil over medium high heat until translucent in a heavy dutch oven type pan. Stir often.
- Turn heat to high and add cubed beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is lightly browned. Stir to turn meat a few times.
- Sprinkle paprika over meat and toss well. Add marjoram, caraway and garlic. Cook a few minutes stirring to mix.
- Add the carrots and parsnips to the pan with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered until the beef is tender for about 45 minutes.
- Add potatoes to the pot and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Serve bowls of hot goulash with crusty bread for dipping in the sauce.
Note: You can also serve goulash over noodles if you like.
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com www.foodonfifth.com
All scenes from Budapest in this post were shot with an iphone 6.