Saveur Magazine, no. 118, March 2009, p. 38.

It may seem redundant to offer here a recipe that not only can you find easily on the web, but I directly provide in the link above. But this recipe deserves as much publicity as it can get. I don’t subscribe to Saveur. I’m starting to wonder why. I pick up a copy now and then without ever doing much with it. I decided to buy this issue when I noticed that it contained sixteen recipes for artichokes and a Viennese cookie (The Amadeus Cookie) that will be next week’s Holy Grail. The goulash caught my eye as I leafed through it once I got the copy home. Paprika, marjoram, caraway seeds and garlic intrigued me. So, I made it last night — advancing my project of clearing space in the freezer for the additional cuts of pork to arrive on Monday — with the last of the chuck roast. When it was ready to eat, I was startled at the vivid colors. The flavors were unexpected: caraway — I should have had a slice of rye bread. The addition of the tomato and red pepper at the end brightened the flavor of the soup. And despite the author’s caution that “real” goulash contains no flour or sour cream, I added a dollop of créme fraiche. If it isn’t traditional, it ought to be. The taste of cream melded beautifully with the earthier spices. Gorgeous soup.

As it appears in the magazine and on-line…

4 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil

2 yellow onions

1 1/2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2″ cubes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup paprika

2 teaspoons dried marjoram

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 1/2 lbs medium new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 tomato, cored and chopped

1 Italian frying pepper, chopped.

1. Heat oil in a 5-qt dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring only once or twice, until the meat is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in paprika, marjoram, caraway, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, parsnips, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Simmer, covered, until the beef is nearly tender, about 40 minutes.

2. Add potatoes and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with rye bread, if you like.

There’s nothing not to like about the recipe…

I can’t think of anything to add — unless you’re wondering what an Italian frying pepper is. I had to look it up. It’s a conical sweet red bell pepper. I’m not sure it makes a difference.

Get yourself some créme fraiche and ignore the traditionalists.

One thought on “Saveur’s Gulyás (Hungarian Goulash)

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