Friday, June 15, 2012

Beef Goulash

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Beef Goulash is a dish that was born from several sources of inspiration. The first one being from the show Top Chef: All Stars. I do have to thank my good friend Linda for getting me interested in this show since I really do love it now. Anyway, Beef goulash was one of the requested recipes when Wolfgang Puck guested as both mentor and judge and he requested a Goulash dish with Spaetzle as his "last meal" request. I was then intrigued what a Goulash dish is made of. I do had an inkling as to what spaetzle was from a German friend who made it once during a thanksgiving party as his potluck dish. 

The second inspiration came from a cookbook I found while hanging out with my cousin at her school before she left for another job at a different school. We went into this bookstore which sells books mainly from the US for cheap. They are really the upscale version of a garage sale but in an air conditioned mall. The book caught my eye since it was adapted from one of my favorite movies ever, The Bridges of Madison County. The authors were the food stylists in the movie and they came up with a cookbook filled with recipes that made sense with regards to the movie as well as the location. Lo and behold, it has a Hungarian Goulash recipe on it. Heck, even the adobo and pancit recipes from the Philippines were in the book. It made me wonder if Meryl Streep ever had the craving for these traditional Filipino dishes while shooting the film in the middle of Iowa. Anyway, once I saw the recipe, I knew it was meant to be and that I had to make this dish no matter what. I'm glad that I did although to be honest, I'm not sure if the taste was authentic but nevertheless, it was delicious.

Hungarian Goulash - Adapted*

2 lbs beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt + an extra pinch
black pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 cups beef broth
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the beef
    cubes and fry until browned on all sides. Do this in batches. Set aside.

2. Add the garlic and onions in the same pot and season with salt and
    pepper and cook until softened. Return the meat into the pot and add
    the rest of the ingredients except for the flour.

3. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer until the meat is tender.
    This will take hours so you can transfer the whole goulash into a
    pressure cooker and cook for about 30-40 minutes.

4. Dissolve the flour in 1/4 cup water and add to the goulash. Cook until
    thickened. If it gets a bit too thick, add hot water until you achieve
    the desired consistency.

5. Check for flavor and serve with steamed rice or spaetzle.

* The Madison County Cookbook, Carol Publishing Group, Winterset, Iowa: 1995. 

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