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 FoodWishes.com. 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.