Authentic Hungarian Goulash (Gulyas) Recipe
Goulash cooking in Csikszereda
The mystery around the Hungarian goulash (gulyas)
I had never problem with the Hungarian goulash.
. With only two authentic Hungarian goulash recipes i managed to cook the common goulash soup, (no guests), and the special goulash , (when guests came in). Everybody liked both of them.
Till one day my daughter from Australia is mentioning that she got an even more authentic Hungarian goulash recipe, very good everybody liked it. This drove me in deep depression. So my authentic goulash, even 2 of them, are not authentic enough anymore?
First i searched in my recipe books. Later i had to go online too. Things became more and more confusing. Hundreds of authentic goulash recipes are out there!
last update: Tuesday, 27.09. 2016
Surprizing revelations about the Hungarian goulash..
Most of my sources are offering a goulash recipe with different list of ingredients, method and serving tips. Not to mention the different consistency, the soup goulash and the stew goulash.
However, i got few facts about the goulash, which are accepted by most of them.
1:the name of the goulash (gulyas) is coming from the guys named "gulyas" who were leading the cattle on the Hortobagyi puszta, kind of Hungarian prairie, but smaller.This means that goulash originally is cooked outdoors, on the territory of actual Hungary, when this staff had to eat, but did not reach any indoor kitchen.
2: the meal is cooked in a special pot, "bogracs", kind of cauldron with tripod.
3: on the ingredients list it was a piece of meat, resulting from the cattle, victim of accidents, attacs, or even the gulyas hunger.
4: paprika is the next admitted by most of the recipes, so the goulash was created after 1500, when Turks did bring paprika in Hungary.
5: the vegetables, what the nature did offer at those times, are several kind of wild onions, very tasty all of them, which even today are delicatesses for the conaisseurs, so this plant have to be on the shopping list. Onion have to be a lot, in order to get the sauce, the delight of the goulash.
6: caraway seeds are all over the Hungarian puszta, even today,so it is a good guess that caraway is on.
I have an other guess - let's name it hypotesis - that other vegetables as celery stick, tomatoes, fresh pepper would not be carried in the famous bag (tarisznya) of the cowboy, because would not stay fresh. But flour and maize is just what he needed, subsequently we can admit them on the list.
Here is the authentic Hungarian goulash (gulyas) recipe:
Gotcha? Because what can the man do with those ingredients?
- lard (pork-grouse-chicken) 100 gram
- beef 1 kg - cut cubs
- onion 700 gram chopped
- paprika 2 tablespoon
- caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon salt
- flour 100 gramm
- egg 1 piece.
- bay leaf 2pc
- -The special pot, the bogracs, (cauldron) gets the heat directly from the wood, so we just put the fat, and when is hot, we add the beef, cutted in cubes. The meat should get brown, quite quickly, and this is what we want. When the meat is brown, we add the onion, fairly small cutten, the caraway seeds and stirring with a wooden spoon, we wait until the onion gets some colour.
- -Now we should withdraw some of the wood coal, reducing the heat, and adding the salt, stirring in quite often, we should get the onion dried, at half of the liquid what it contents.
- -Next we pour 200 ml water with a splash of wine, and add the paprika ( not directly in the hot fat, the paprika would get bad taste.) and 2 bay leafs.
- With a lid on, we simmer the goulash about until the meat gets ready, adding water if is necessary to keep the original level. Heat should be very low.
- -The last but not least is to add the csipetke (kind of small noodles), prepared in the meantime, mixing the egg with the flour, kneading vigorously, adjusting the flour quantity until we have a firm dough, and we pinch small pieces with our nails from it. Those are the csipetke.
- Other 10 minutes and the goulash is ready. Now the goulash should have the consistency of a stew, the gravy quite thick, given by the onion and paprika.
- It is served with maize, prepared like the Italian "polenta", or bread.
- Photo credit :visualphotos
How is your mood now?
Modern times requier a small adjustment.
the only vegetable which will not harm our goulash is the potato
Nowadays we can add potatoes, when the meat is about getting ready. Even if the potatoes did show up in Hungary in the 18-th century, would not compromise the quality of the goulash.1 kg would be the perfect quantity.
There are some difficulties to cook outdoors, but the result certanaily will worth it. Nobody knows why, but the meal cooked in cauldron, outdoors, on real fire is much tastier than in any modern kitchen.
Other "cauldrons" on Amazon
Cast iron seems to be always the best for gourmet cooking, and we also can consider that so far cast iron cookware is the only one without a danger of being toxic. And they last forever...
Indoor Hungarian goulash, in our kitchen
trying to do our best.
As we did agree, the list of ingredients is the same as the outdoor goulash. The method will be different, trying to get the same taste, but at about 200C, what a normal cooker with a fancy non stick pot can produce.
-using a medium high pot we heat up the fat.
-will put a layer of the cubes of the meat coated with flour (handy way to put them in a plastic bag, together with 1 tablespoon of flour and shaking it until the flour gets everywhere), stirring them until everyone gets brown. Removing the first layer on a plate, we put the next and so on...
-the onion is coming in the pot, with the salt, first on high heat, until gets some colour, then low heat, until will lose liquid.
-now we add the meat, caraway seeds and paprika, keeping the heat low. With 100 ml water and splash of wine we simmer the goulash, under the lid, until the meat is ready, ocasionaly adding water, to keep the original level.
-adding the csipetke, stirring in the pot, check the taste.
-in 10 min should be ready.
The potatoes version will be made with the same rule as the outdoor goulash.
Enhanced Hungarian goulash
I am using both recipes, but i have to admit sometimes i like to live dangerously so i use goose fat, and add smoked home made sausage, cutten rondelles. TRY IT OUT!!!
Descendants of the goulash family tree
recipe goulash hungarian
With the globalization of the recipes, and modern socio-economical influences, the old, simple goulash now is having all those off springs, what we need to mention in order to keep readers informed.
GOULASH SOUP ( gulyas leves)
It happened when somebody did add some water to the goulash and unlike other stew, this combination did result a hearty, tasty soup, welcomed by the hungry food loving consumer, especially in a snowy, cold day. Nowadays seems that this ugly duck of the goulash family is the swan, and the popular one.
-add 1 litre beef stock and 1 kg potatoes to the original goulash, and boil it until potatoes are ready. Sprinkle it with some freshly chopped parsley leafs.
How simple ! It is rather blasphemous, but it works.
ENGLISH AMERICAN VERSION GOULASH
The amazing fact is that now even in Hungary, in the restaurants, especially tourist targeted ones are offering this very same stew under the goulash denomination on the menu, in the worst case only the soup kind. The reason should be that English tourist prefers his familiar tastes, and would not try the wild, deeply Hungarian goulash ancestor.
- together with the onion add in the hot fat 1 carrot, chopped, 1 celery stick, chopped, 250 tomatoes, chopped, 1 fresh pepper, chopped. 1 bay leaf, reduce the paprika to 1 teaspoon, reduce caraway seeds to 1/2 teaspoon. Simmer in, avoid burning it, about 7 min. Add the previously fried meat, and 200 ml stock. Now reduce heat and simmer it until the meat is ready, adding water to maintain level of liquid.
This version can be enhanced with potatoes, 4 large potatoes in this case, added when the meat is almost ready. Csipetke apparently is not a choice.
The result is a stew, very alike with any beef stew , with a light Hungarian aroma and colour.
There are animated contradictions about
-should be added to the list above garlic or not
-red wine is invited on the list or not
-quantity (even existence) of caraway seeds
-can be the goulash with pork or, God forgive,chicken...
I am inviting you to tell us your opinion, with courage, we have to talk openly about the goulash problem.