Recipe of The Week
Goulash in a Bread Bowl
by The Well Seasoned Traveler
Although Hungary takes much of the credit for the fame of goulash, the truth is that it is a dish celebrated throughout Eastern Europe. In Hungary, goulash is served as a soup. The goulash we make today is more of a stew, typical of the Balkans. Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and the whole area including Poland.
Pieces of meat with bone, like shanks and shoulders, are set to slowly boil in seasoned water for hours until soft. The resulting broth is corrected for seasoning, then vegetables are added. Carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and aromatic herbs. Sometimes, depending on what regional variety is made, beer or wine are added to the simmer. Finally, paprika is added almost at the end. This is a trick not known to many. Paprika is very delicate, if you boil it the whole time, it loses its flavor and aroma, and you lose the soul of the dish. At this point, you have a creamy velvety stew that would make a babushka proud. Set it in a bread bowl and enjoy!
2lb stew meat cut in 1 inch cubes
½ lb. Vine ripe tomatoes diced coarsely
1 can plum tomatoes peeled
2 medium white or yellow onions chopped
3 carrots sliced
1 lb. baby potatoes
6 cloves garlic chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon
1 teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons paprika (sweet, hot or smoked, your taste)
½ cup of red wine or 1 glass of dark beer
salt and pepper to taste
bread bowls for serving
Place meat to stew on large stewing pot with enough water to cover it. Use beef stock if desired
Salt and pepper the meat and bring to a boil. As water evaporates, add more keeping the meat submerged in liquid at all times
Keep this process up until a dark juice has formed and the meat is tender to the bite
Add the mashed plum tomatoes, one teaspoon of tarragon, one teaspoon of thyme
Reduce heat to low and let the tomato and meat juice caramelize, always keep liquid above the meat or it will result in dry hard meat
Stir constantly until you have a nice meaty tomatoe-y broth with the meat.
Add the wine or beer, and let the broth reduce by half over low heat
Add the potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic and enough liquid to cover it all
Rectify the salt and bring to a slow simmer over medium-low heat.
When potatoes and carrots are tender and the juice has reduced just below the line of meat and vegetables add the paprika, top the water to just cover everything add the remaining herbs and the cubed tomatoes, check your salt, stir everything well together and once more bring to a boil over medium heat until you have a creamy broth coating the back of a spoon
Heat the bread bowls in the oven, and serve the stew inside the warm bread bowls