In a few days I am traveling to Europe and I can’t wait. No matter how happy I am to live in the U.S., I miss many things from my home continent. One of them is food… there are days when I crave so much stuff that can be tried only in Europe. I mean, I can make them here too, but it is not the same. For example, what Americans call veal meat, in my home country it is considered beef… which means the meat was from an animal too old to be called veal. I know it sounds terrible talking about meat that way, but I really enjoy my status of non-vegetarian. Real veal is very soft and tender, one of the best meat that you can possibly have. Too bad I can’t find it here… Anyway, my stews are good even with let’s say “young beef”, I only have to cook it a little bit longer.
Goulash is a Hungarian stew that is popular all over Eastern and Central Europe. It is always made with ground paprika and a lot of onions and of course meat. What it is really cool about this dish is having it with dumplings. Of course, you can have this stew with potato or noodles, but dumplings are the perfect choice.
Another traditional Hungarian dish, very similar to goulash, is paprikash. The only difference is using flour to thicken the latter. The paprikash recipe can be found here.
1 lb. veal for stew cut in 1- inch squares
¼ cup vegetable oil1 lb. (2 large) onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups water
2 teaspoons sweet paprika3 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 celery stalkSalt and black pepper
1/2 can (4 oz.) crushed tomato
1 egg1 tablespoon water
5 tablespoons flourSalt
- Slice the onions. Heat the oil in a medium pot and add onions. Sauté it until it turns brown. Add garlic.
- Pour in 2 cups of water. Simmer onions for 15 minutes.
- Add veal, paprika, celery, thyme, caraway seeds, bay leaves, salt and black pepper. Bring the stew to boil and lower the heat. Simmer it for at least 2 hours. The more you cook, the better the goulash will be. Before the meal is done add crushed tomatoes.
- While the stew is cooking, make the dumplings. Beat an egg, add a tablespoon of water, salt and flour. Mix everything together and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.
- When the goulash is done, drop the dumplings by teaspoon, one by one. When they start to pop up, after few minutes, they are cooked. My suggestion is to double the number of dumplings since the first day we ate them all.