Goulash, which is by far the most famous and appreciated typical Hungarian dish in the world, derives from the word “gulya” which means “herd of cattle” and in fact, in ancient times it was prepared by the herdsmen who, between the 18th and 19th centuries, they transported the prized gray steers from Hungary to the markets of neighboring countries.
Hungarian goulash is therefore a poor dish halfway between a stew and a soup, characterized by a marked presence of sweet paprika which gives it its particular color, while, an important contribution of taste is given by the presence of cumin seeds and from peppers.
As often happens, especially in recipes from Eastern Europe, these are not codified, but basically, each family jealously guards its own version.
The cuts of meat used for the preparation of Goulash are the beef sirloin or chuck, sometimes also the neck, gravy-beef or the shoulder. But let’s see the ingredients in detail.
Ingredients for 4 people
Beef (sirloin or chuck or thick rib) 1 kg
Meat broth 1,5 l
Potatoes 450 gr
Onions 250 gr
Medium Green Sweet Peppers 3
Vine Tomato (medium) 1
1 clove Garlic
Sweet Paprika Powder 20 gr
Cumin seeds 5 gr
Lard 50 g (or butter)
Salt 10 gr
The preparation of Hungarian Goulash is a bit long but extremely simple and impossible to go wrong.
First, cut all the meat into cubes of about 2 cm and set it aside.
Finely chop the onion and, inside a large enameled cast iron saucepan, let it brown for about ten minutes in butter, being careful not to let it burn. At this point we add the meat and let it cook for another 10 minutes. As soon as the liquid that comes out of the meat has evaporated and the surface is protected, add the paprika, cumin seeds, poached garlic and tomato (cut into 1 cm cubes). We mix everything and leave to flavor for a few moments.
At this point, add the broth until the meat is completely covered. Cover with the lid and let it boil over medium heat for about an hour and a half.
In the meantime, cut the potatoes into cubes of about 2-3 cm and after having deprived them of the seeds, the peppers into 1 cm slices. After an hour and a half, we put these last ingredients inside the goulash and continue cooking for another half hour.
Eventually add a little salt if it turns out to be a little bland and serve the Hungarian goulash hot.
Variants and Curiosities
- In place of beef, sheep meat, chicken or even fish are sometimes used;
- There are those who do not include sweet peppers in the recipe and those who also add carrot and celery.