Beef Paprika Goulash - Learning To Cook Blog at - 295960

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Beef Paprika Goulash 
Jan. 23, 2013 5:56 pm 
Updated: Feb. 13, 2013 6:42 pm
I was thinking about what to make for dinner tonight. It's darned cold here, though nothing compared to where I'll be moving to soon. I wanted to make something hearty and rich. It had to be fulfilling and inviting as well. I wanted something that would embrace me, warm me up and give me all the love I needed. It's hard living apart from your wife!

When I lived in Germany, we would often have a simple dinner made from a Knorr dry mix. I'd cube a pound of pork meat, fry it in oil until brown and then chuck in the dry mix (Paprika Goulash Zigeuner Art) and about a cup of water. Cover it and simmer for one hour. I usually uncovered it for the last 15 minutes and turned the heat up a bit to reduce it. I would serve this goulash with spaetzle and a green salad. This is what I wanted for dinner tonight. The problem being that you can't just run to the store and get this mix in the USA. I had almost decided to become despondent when I noticed that Chef John had posted a blog entry on Oh glorious day! He was making beef goulash! How's that for an answer to prayer?

I went to the store to get the items I needed for Chef John's recipe, but by the time I got home, I couldn't get another goulash recipe off of my mind. Edelhirschgoulash is another German delight that fulfills all of the requirements that I had set out. There was only one problem. It is impossible to find chestnuts this time of year. Sure I could find water chestnuts, but they are not the same thing. Chestnuts, or what the Italians call castagne, or Maroni (or Kastanien) in Germany, is what I needed. They are sweet, starchy and fall apart pretty easily when cooked. One month ago, I could have bought pounds of chestnuts in the produce department as they are common fare during Christmas. As I pondered weak and weary (and half frozen) I decided on merging the two recipes as well as I could.

The result is my version of Beef Paprika Goulash, and I do hope you try it and enjoy it. This is not a quick and easy meal like the Knorr dry mix, rather it is a long cooking, makes your house smell great meal. If you don't want to bother with making spaetzle, you can use potato gnocchi from the store. DeCecco makes them in 500 gram containers. Serve with a nice spinach and arugula salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette.
Jan. 23, 2013 6:23 pm
Hello Doc,sorry your apart from your wife,but you'll be together again before you know it.Nice blog,i read your recipe,and saved it.We make something similar,but always willing to try others.I will for sure be using gnocchi,love those little dumplings,mine will be home made.We always made our own noodles,gnocchi,and all different pastas,when i was growing up.Being from Italy and growing up in Little Italy,it was a given.Thank you for this recipe.
Jan. 23, 2013 6:41 pm
I saved your recipe, Doc. Thanks. ... I have been wanting to try european recipes but haven't gone to any european sites. This will get me a start.
Jan. 23, 2013 6:47 pm
I am assuming red port and dark basalmic but that was me assuming. Am I correct?
Jan. 23, 2013 7:37 pm
Mike, yes you are correct. The port I used was a bit thin and mean, but it still worked. I almost wished that I had tried a good cream sherry instead of a bad port! The balsamic doesn't NEED to be the best, but that really thick, rich, glorious stuff I used to get in Europe would probably have been mind blowing!
Jan. 23, 2013 7:38 pm
manella, thanks for the comments, and can you share your gnocchi recipe? If you need a spaetzle recipe, I'll dig mine up and share!
Jan. 23, 2013 10:04 pm
That looks yummy, saved! Thanks..
Jan. 24, 2013 3:11 am
you know what doc? i will click on your blogs because i think i am going to see a recipe i might be interested in, and lo and behold, i have to read thru some inane story of your's with a bunch of flowery writing and background information that is completely useless. by the time i get halfway tru your "novellas", i lose interest and can't even remember what recipe you are attempting to share with everyone. it's really annoying. enough already. i know way more about you than i ever wanted to know. and it's never interesting, and it's usually a repeat of information you've shared in your last 100 blogs. you would be much more effective if you would just get to the point. you're no steinbeck. stop trying to be.
Jan. 24, 2013 3:15 am
in fact, do me a favor. block me so i won't keep getting seduced by your recipes titles whose content end up having nothing to do with the title, and lose 5 minutes of my life i can't get back. and stop whining.
Jan. 24, 2013 3:29 am
please please please, stop reminding us at every turn about how you lived in germany. it's become soooo tiresome. you seem to fit it into every blog, no matter how irrelevant to the topic it is. "when i lived in germany"; if i have to read that one more time i'm going to throw up.
Jan. 24, 2013 3:58 am
Patty's right Doc! You should block her.
Jan. 24, 2013 5:08 am
I don't block people like that. People need to see good examples of pathetic lives. Obviously they haven't paid much attention to my blog because I don't have a hundred blog posts. When I read that, I knew I was dealing with a person who wasn't being honest, just hateful. That's kind of shocking here on AR. You don't normally see this kind of vitriol from the people here. It's interesting that this person has chosen to hide their profile from anyone that is curious about them. Ah well... Trolls are a sad fact of life, but they do provide moments of entertainment!
Jan. 24, 2013 5:59 am
Ahh Doc, don't listen to that dribble,she must have nothing better to do with her time.Must not like herself very much,anyway enough of that c**p.I will gladly give you my recipe for gnocchi when i get back home.We are in Arizona right now for the next 2 weeks,visiting with my sister and her husband,plus sucking up this wonderful sun.It's -21 back in Nova Scotia,brrrrr.As far as your blogs, others do enjoy them.Don't let one very rude person stop you from writing them.
Jan. 24, 2013 7:32 am
Thanks manella. They haven't bothered me. If one of you guys called me a bag of hot air, I might have to reassess what I was doing!
Jan. 24, 2013 8:18 am
Hi Doc! LOL, the troll stated, " and lose 5 minutes of my life i can't get back." How funny, the troll just wasted 15 more minutes responding with more comments. Go figure... BTW, your blogs are great.
Jan. 24, 2013 9:00 am
Thanks bd! I appreciate the kindness that I have received on AR. We had a dog in my family years ago. He was the dumbest mutt I ever loved, but he had an annoying trait. He always did what made us angry. Without fail he went about his day tearing books, peeing on the floor and chewing on furniture. We finally figured out that these were the times when we paid the most attention to him. His make up was such that he needed attention more than anything else. Once we started to give him the attention he wanted, when he was being good, the bad behavior lessened. It never did go away though. Screwy mutt!
Jan. 24, 2013 9:59 am
Oh! Just so you all know, my profile photo was taken "while I lived in Germany!" ;-)
Jan. 24, 2013 12:14 pm
Now you know how Justin Bieber feels with his haters. And if Patty went off on you like that, I can't help but wonder what she will have to say about me ? Keep writing Doc.
Jan. 24, 2013 12:21 pm
Thanks Doug. I just finished reading your latest. I love those thoughts that creep up on us unbidden. It's like getting little gifts throughout the day. Or maybe I'm just going senile... :)
Jan. 24, 2013 12:34 pm
and I missed it, where are you moving that is currently colder than NJ ? (we beat Alaska today)
Jan. 24, 2013 1:44 pm
Yikes! Who rained on patty's parade? Keep them coming Doc, you do have fans. And apropos of nothing, my son was stationed in Germany for 14 months and loved it.
Jan. 24, 2013 6:08 pm
Thanks BigShotsMom! We lived there 5 years so it is a significant part of our lives. Doug, we are moving to Minnesota next summer. I think I saw a -31 windchill the other day for the city we'll live in. I lived there most of my life. You'd think I wouldn't be freaked out by the coming cold wave.
Jan. 25, 2013 7:31 am
YES. Please provide your spaetzle recipe. Could use search engine, but I know yours will be tried and true. Also, would like your gnocci recipe. First time reader of your blog. I did find myself skipping thru the paragraphs looking for the 'meat' of your culinary wisdom. But don't be offended, it just means that readers want to get to the stuff that matters to US. But in any case, skipping is ok too. Puts the control back on the reader. Nothing wrong with that. Thanks in advance for your recipes.
Jan. 25, 2013 7:38 am
that sounds great! And still laughing at Patty. Some people's children. hehehe
Jan. 25, 2013 7:59 am
Hi Marci! I am trying to make sure I use a link to the recipe I blathering on about and around. If you see a link in one of the paragraphs, go for it! If you see two links, it means I got distracted and you'll have more work to do! I will post a spaetzle recipe soon. manella has the gnocchi recipe, and she'll post it as soon as she gets back home from her vacation. Thanks for leaving a comment!
Jan. 25, 2013 8:02 am
Norm! (Slides a beer down the bar) Thanks for your kind words! It was really good, and I am so glad that Chef John posted his recipe so I could remember how much I enjoyed goulash.
Jan. 26, 2013 4:14 am
Hey, Doc!! Please keep up the interesting blogs - I happen to enjoy your blathering - LOL! Regarding moving to a colder climate - oh my! I am in Detroit area and wonder why we still hang around here. This past week has been a real test. But, it's always fun to learn a new territory so I am sure you will make the most of it. Can't wait for you to aggravate us some more!
Jan. 26, 2013 9:35 pm
I can easily promise that I will continue to aggravate. In fact, I am currently attempting to enrage my better half. One can never get in enough practice time!
Jan. 27, 2013 9:49 am
Doc - you've got me hungry for goulash. Time to go dig up some chuck roast out of the freezer and get it started. Just FYI, I moved back to my childhood home in Minnesota last spring and despite having spent a significant amount of the past 30 years in the warmer climates of the south and west, readjusting to the cold hasn't been as bad as I anticipated. Event partner, a Seattle native, was saying "it's not too bad today" the other day when it was a high of 6 degrees F. Like anything, it's all relative. PS I've never lived in Germany, but I drive a German car.
Jan. 27, 2013 10:23 am
Hi Doc - I love your blogs ...and your writing style, your stories of life and your recipes... Please keep 'em coming! I have both a paprika powder and a paste (in a tube) that a student recently brought me back from Hungary. I can's wait to try them for goulash and chicken paprika, too. I had never seen the paste before; have you? They are both labeled fully in Hungarian, so I don't know if they are sweet or hot, etc. Any ideas? The powder is "Zsegedi Orolt Paprika". I just spent 30 minutes looking for the paste in my tiny, but packed kitchen and couldn't find it! Anyways, assuming I do someday, have you ever cooked with the paprika paste? Thanks from a big fan of your blogs!
Jan. 27, 2013 1:46 pm
So glad you are taking the high road, Doc. This is a public forum, open to all, regardless of whether they were brought up to mind their manners! Be encouraged by those in the community who want to share the love of cooking with you and who enjoy reading your comments! Happy cooking!
Jan. 29, 2013 9:52 am
Just read through your blog and all the comments. I just don't ever comment or respond to hateful or hurtful people's posts. Today is no different. What I really want to do is give you a HUGE High Five for how you've so graciously handled yourself. You didn't get hateful back. Most generally, that stops haters dead in their tracks. Because of your high moral ground and your MOST interesting blogs, I will follow you and make you a "cook I like." Keep Calm and Blog On."
Jan. 29, 2013 9:55 am
BTW, like CUAS, I've driven a German car for years. I also love German food and love to hear anything at all about the German culture. Keep telling your stories.
Feb. 4, 2013 6:12 am
Doc, just made the Chef John goulash last night., I am not familiar with this cuisine, had never used this much paprika in a single recipe before (and didn't have hungarian paprika) but enjoyed the result and so did hubby. I am now going to look at your version.
Feb. 4, 2013 8:21 am
Hey Doc, yours is one of the Most popular Blogs on today's "First Taste" newsletter. Congrats! I can't understand why anyone wants to fill their time with hate. It only makes their life unhappy. Life's too short.
Feb. 9, 2013 6:21 am
Thanks to everyone for their words of encouragement and kindness. :)
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Doc Simonson

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
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Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
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Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
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Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
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There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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