My Hungarian Grandmother’s Goulash | Dani Valent

My Hungarian Grandmother’s Goulash

A slow-cooked, succulent stew with central European flavours

We called my dad’s mum Sapta, our version of the Hebrew ‘safta’, or grandmother. She was warm and loving, a great cook and a keen card player. My brother, sister and I would spend every second Friday night at her place – we thought it was a treat for us (she let us watch TV on Saturday mornings!) but now I see it was also a treat for my parents, who got some adult time. Wins all around!

My mother wrote all of Sapta’s recipes in a little notebook – hearty central European Jewish fare like dumplings, poppy seed cake, cholent (a kind of meaty bean stew) and sweet noodles. But guess what? No one can find the notebook now! So, this recipe has been created in Sapta’s spirit, rather than being a faithful rendition of her goulash: it’s hearty and honest, simple and sustaining and I always think of her when I eat it.

This meal takes hardly any time to prepare but the meat does need a long cooking time to be tender. It’s worth it! It reheats beautifully, so consider making it a day ahead, or freezing it for later use.

Goulash is traditionally a soup, served with steamed potatoes. This version is very juicy but it’s more of a stew. I love serving it with mashed potatoes, though you can stick with the traditional steamed, if you like. To save time, I look for large, white thin-skinned potatoes so I can get away without peeling them. You’ll probably get a bit of peel gathered on the Butterfly, and you may notice a little peel through the mash as well. If you’d rather not encounter this, please feel free to peel your spuds.

Makes: about 2 litres (serves 6-8)
Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

Goulash

  • 1 red onion, halved
  • 150 grams (5 oz) capsicum, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus extra to taste
  • 50 grams (2 oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 800 grams (28 oz) chuck steak, in 3cm/1in cubes (see Tips)
  • 40 grams (1.5 oz) flour (see Tips)
  • 200 grams (7 oz) white wine
  • 1 tin tomatoes, crushed
  • 300 grams (10.6 oz) stock
  • 200 grams (7 oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • pepper, to taste

Potatoes

  • 700 grams (24.7 oz) washed potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 2cm (0.8in) cubes
  • 1L (35 oz) water
  • 50 grams (2 oz) butter, chopped
  • salt, to taste

To serve

  • 200 grams (7 oz) sour cream
  • sweet paprika
  • parsley, chopped

Method

Goulash

1. Place onion, capsicum and garlic in mixing bowl. Chop 3 sec/speed 5.5.
2. Add caraway seeds, paprika, salt and olive oil. Cook 6 min/Varoma/speed 1. Scrape sides and base of mixing bowl.
3. Add meat, flour, wine, tomatoes and stock. Cook 30 min/100°C (212°F)/Rev/speed 1.
4. Add mushrooms and cook 45 min/100°C (212°F)/Rev/speed 1.
5. Taste and add salt if desired. If meat is not yet tender, cook for a further 15 min/100°C (212°F)/Rev/speed 1, or until meat can easily be broken apart with a fork.
6. When meat is tender, set aside in an insulated bowl to keep warm while cooking potatoes.

Potatoes

7. Place potatoes into steamer basket and water into mixing bowl. Set steamer basket in place and cook 25 min/Varoma/speed 2, or until potatoes are very tender.
8. Remove steamer basket and tip water from mixing bowl.
9. Insert Butterfly. Return potatoes to mixing bowl with butter and salt. Mash 30 sec/speed 4, or until smooth.

To serve

Spoon mashed potato into shallow bowl and ladle over goulash. Add a generous spoon of sour cream and sprinkle with paprika. Shower parsley over the goulash.

Tips

  • Use gluten-free flour, if desired.
  • Use any stewing beef that rewards slow cooking, such as blade, gravy or casserole beef.

Variation

  • Add some pan-seared flavour to the dish by tossing steak in the flour and salt, heating extra virgin olive oil in a pan, and searing the beef until well browned on all sides. Add meat at step 3.
  • Use sweet potato in place of potatoes, or do a mix.
  • If using a TM31, you’ll need to reduce quantities. Use 700 grams meat, 150 grams wine, 200 grams stock, 150 grams mushrooms, ensuring level does not exceed the ‘maximum’ mark when cooking.

Looking for more deliciously warming winter dishes? Then you’ll love my Soulful Chicken Soup.

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