Goulash is a stew of meat, vegetables/potatoes, seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating in Hungary, goulash is also a popular meal in many European countries. The name originates from the Hungarian gulyás. Gulya means ‘herd’ and gulyás means ‘herdsman’.
In the Czech Republic, goulash is made with beef and served with bread dumplings, hovězí guláš s knedlíkem or with bread. In some regions, it is garnished with slices of fresh onion.
I’ve had varieties of goulash but none as delicious as the one I had in Prague. At the time, I did not know anything about Czech bread dumpling, houskový knedlík. When I ordered goulash, which came with this super-delicious bread, I had to know what it was and learn how to make it. I bought every cookbook in English which had Czech goulash and houskový knedlík recipes. To my disappointment, none of the recipes did either justice.
After reading numerous recipes on the internet (with one drastically different than another) and many disasters, I was able to created this savory goulash recipe. If you make it exactly as my recipe calls for, you will not be disappointed. As for the bread dumpling, houskový knedlík, I am still perfecting my skills… comes out a little better each time.
Goulash / Gulyás
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 2 large, sweet onions, sliced
• 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
• 900 g/ 2 lb beef Chuck roast cubed 5 cm/ 2″ square (12~16 pieces)
• 4 Tbsp paprika – use freshly opened jar (avoid stale spices)
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 cloves garlic, whole
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 cups hot water
◊ Cut the onion in half, putting the cut side on the board, slice in 6 mm/ ¼” thick slices.
◊ In a deep, non-stick pot, add 3 Tbsp butter and put on medium-high heat. When butter is melt and hot, add the cut onions. Stir several times, until the onion is well-browned but not crispy (20+ minutes). Scoop/drain out the browned onions into in a bowl and set aside.
◊ In the same pot, on high, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter and brown the meat on both sides, 1 minute per side.
◊ Sprinkle paprika over the meat and stir until meat is well-coated and the oil sizzling. Add browned onions, garlic, bay leaf, salt, and hot water. Stir and bring to a boil, lower heat to low, and let simmer slowly for 3 hours. Stir a couple of times while cooking. Remove from heat.
◊ For thicker sauce, if preferred, gently remove the meat to a serving dish and puree the sauce in the pan with hand-held blender and pour over the meat. Serve with bread dumplings, bread, pasta or rice.
Note: I have read that authentic goulash does not need flour for thickness nor tomato paste for taste or color.
~ Jó étvgyat! ~
Czech Bread Dumplings / Houskový Knedlík
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 1 cup semolina (also referred to as coarse flour)
• ½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour + 1 Tbsp for rolling
• 1½ tsp Fleischmann’s RapidRise yeast (15g of 21g envelope)
• smidgen (1/16 tsp) salt for the dough + ¼ tsp for the boiling water
• 2 tsp sugar
• ½ cup milk
• ½ cup water
• 1 egg
• 4 Tbsp Japanese white breadcrumbs/panko
◊ Combine milk and water in a cup and put in microwave for about 20 seconds, till lukewarm.
◊ In a small bowl, combine yeast and sugar and 1 Tbsp of the lukewarm milk/water, stir and set aside for 10 minutes.
◊ In another small bowl, beat the egg well with a fork.
◊ In a large bowl, whisk together semolina, flour and salt. Make a well in the center, add the yeast mixture and start stirring/folding with silicone spatula. Gradually add beaten egg as you are stirring. Gradually add milk/water, little at the time, until the batter/dough does not stick to the bowl and is medium firm. If all the milk/water is not needed, don’t use all. Add breadcrumbs/panko and continue folding until dough is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (warmer room temperature) for 1 hour.
◊ Cover kitchen counter with plastic wrap and spread 1 Tbsp of flour.
◊ Place dough on a floured counter. Divide into two equal pieces, shaping them into small loaves by rolling with your hands into 6 cm/2.5″ diameter, long cylindrical. Let the loaves/dumplings sit for 10 minutes.
◊ Bring large pot of water to a rapid boil, add ¼ tsp of salt. Carefully slide both dumplings into the pot. Watch so they don’t stick to bottom of the pot or to each other. Let them cook for 10 minutes on each side (total of 20 minutes).
◊ Scoop and place the cooked dumplings on a cutting board.
◊ It’s better not to slice them with a knife. The dumplings are likely to get crushed. Slide a long piece of sewing thread under a dumpling, wrap it around the top, (right hand holding left end of thread and left hand holding right end of thread) by crossing and pulling tightly in opposite directions. Slice in a circular inward motion until thread is straight. Repeat, until dumplings are all sliced ½ inch thick. Place them in a covered serving bowl to keep warm. Serve with goulash!
~ Dobrou chuť! ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?