MY VERSION OF HUNGARIAN GOULASH
I was watching a TV cooking competition and one of the contestants made Hungarian Goulash. I used to make this quite a lot but have not made it for years. After watching the TV show, I really got a craving for the taste of it, so decided to make it last week when the weather was cold and miserable. The perfect comforting dinner for a cold night.
Like all stews and casseroles, this tastes even better the next day and freezes really well.
The amount in this recipe feeds 8, four of us ate it one night and then I have another portion of the same quantity in the freezer for another meal.
There is a bit of preparation involved as you need to have the Tomatoes and Peppers peeled and ready to go.
- 1.5 kg of Beef Cheek, each cheek cut into approximately 6 pieces (grass fed organic beef if possible)
- 2 tablespoons of Duck Fat
- 5 large Onions, diced
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 8 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped up (can use a tin of peeled tomatoes if you wish)
- 4 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Sweet Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of Hot Smoked Paprika
- 2 tablespoons of Paprika
- 200 mls Red Wine
- 2 litres of Beef Stock (if you use cubes, just check the salt content as you don’t want your goulash to be too salty)
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
- 5 Red Peppers, peeled and cut into thick strips
- Sea Salt and ground Black Pepper to taste
Turn on oven to 160 degrees.
Melt the Duck Fat in a large casserole dish (that has a lid) and add the onions. Saute until they are soft and transparent.
Add the Beef Cheek chunks and turn the heat up to brown the meat, stirring so they get nicely browned all over, but not letting the onions burn.
Add the Tomato Puree, chopped Tomatoes, Garlic and the three types of Paprika. Stir around a minute to incorporate these ingredients, then add the Red Wine and the Cumin, Oregano and the peeled Red Pepper strips. Stir around again and then add the Beef Stock.
Bring to a simmer and then put on the lid and transfer to the oven. This needs to cook for 4 hours for the meat to become extremely soft. After three hours, check the meat and the degree of liquid. If you feel there is too much liquid then leave the lid off for the last hour, so that some of the juice can evaporate. This is a personal preference, if you like the sauce to be thicker or runnier. As there is no flour in this recipe to thicken the sauce, it will be runnier that some casseroles. Also at this stage, do a taste test for seasoning, and add some Salt and ground Black Pepper to your requirements.
If you are not eating it on the day you make it, cook for three hours, and then when reheating it cook for another hour then. I reheated it the next day on the stove and let it cook for 1 hour on a very gentle heat with the lid half off to reduce the sauce a bit (stir every now and again to stop it sticking on the bottom).
I served it with mashed Potato and Tenderstem Broccoli with a topping of chopped Flat Leaf Parsley. (If you mash your potatoes with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a mild tasting diary free milk (I used unsweetened Almond), they are deliciously creamy and the whole dish will be dairy free – they still taste delicious and to be honest if you did not tell anyone I doubt they would be able to tell any difference.
You can serve this with whatever accompaniment you like – Pasta, Rice and any vegetable you prefer.