Traveling the world through cuisine

Anybody Hungary?

Outdoor Dutch oven

Yeah, I couldn’t help myself with that title, but we are taking a journey to Hungary.  While my initial visit was to the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary is best known for its goulash.  If you don’t know, that’s ok.  Goulash is basically a stew, or at times a thick soup.

The rich tradition of goulash (gulyás) is not held in the cities, but more in the country.  The villagers would celebrate the cuisine a large pot hung over a warm fire and slow cooking a smorgasbord of meat, potatoes, and vegetables.  Even here in Chicago there are local gatherings of Hungarians and other Central Europeans where they slow cook a big pot of goulash in a more picnic setting.  It’s definitely a break from the normal outdoor food and/or a wonderful dish for cold weather months.

What I liked the most about goulash is that it’s open to many interpretations and ideas.  When I first had the dish, it was in the traditional Hungarian style.  I will post that later in a future post, but upon research I learned that goulash can variate the meat, starches, vegetables, and seasonings.  You can take it into so many directions both in ingredients and how it’s served.

The recipe I’m going to show you know is for a variant called Peppered Tokány.  Zuzana and I disagree on if this is a goulash or not, as she would only refer to the traditional Hungarian soup as goulash, and this dish would be called a paprikash, simply because it’s meat cooked in a sauce containing paprika.  I personally think it’s all goulash, and it was very, very good.

Peppered Tokány

Peppered Tokány

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 lbs of beef flank, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup of white wine
  • 1 can (6 oz) of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a larger pan under medium heat.
  2. Saute the onion in the oil until it turns golden brown.
  3. Add the meat and cook until it’s browned (but not fully cooked) on all sides.
  4. Add in wine, tomato paste, paprika, and garlic.
  5. Reduce heat to low or medium-low, cover pot, and simmer until meat is fully done. Stir occasionally.

Quick Notes

The end result should be a brownish-red sauce with a consistency of gravy. If your liquids are too watery, then add in a mixture of cornstarch and water. If liquid is vanishing, then add in a little water.

Serving Suggestions

Serve on top of rice, pasta, potatoes, or even polenta (as shown in picture)

Tags: beef, Hungarian, Slovak, spicy, stew

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