- December 2013
- Serves 8
- Takes 35 min to make, 3 hours 20 min to cook
A flavoursome Hungarian goulash recipe by Lucas Hollweg that’s worth the preparation. Chilling overnight allows the flavours to meld together.
- 31.5g (13.5g saturated)
- 17.9g (10.2g sugars)
For 8 servings
- Olive oil for frying
- 250g smoked pancetta (from a whole slab if possible) or dry-cured smoked streaky bacon, cut into small cubes
- 6 medium onions, sliced
- 4 red peppers, sliced
- 1.75kg British stewing steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 3cm chunks
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 whole cloves
- 10 juniper berries, crushed
- 3 bay leaves
- Leaves from 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 heaped tbsp tomato purée
- 2 heaped tbsp sweet (mild) paprika, plus extra for dusting
- 2 good pinches of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 400ml dry red wine
- 2½ tbsp red wine vinegar
- 250ml beef stock
- About 250ml soured cream to serve
- Put a large saucepan (big enough to hold all the ingredients or see Lucas’ tips) on the hob and add a splash of oil. Add the pancetta and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until it has released its fat and started to brown, then mix in the onions and peppers and cook over the heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and sweet.
- Toss the meat with the flour and some salt and pepper and set aside.
- Add the garlic, cloves, juniper berries, bay and most of the thyme leaves to the vegetables in the pan, then add the meat and stir over the heat for another 5-10 minutes until the flesh has lost its redness. Mix in the tomato purée, paprika, cayenne and caraway seeds, then stir for 2-3 minutes more.
- Pour in the red wine, vinegar and stock. The meat should be just covered when pushed down into the liquid. Season well and cover the surface with a piece of baking paper cut to just fit inside the pan. Bring everything to a simmer, then cover the pan with a lid and cook over the lowest heat for 2¼-2¾ hours – you want a gentle bubble, no more – or until the meat is on the verge of collapse (check with a fork).
- Remove the baking paper and season generously – it’s a big pot, and salt will bring the flavours together – then break up the bits of meat slightly so the chunks start to separate into threads and shreds. Stir in 4 tbsp of the soured cream.
- Ladle the goulash into bowls, then sprinkle with the remaining thyme. Serve with the gnocchi and extra soured cream dusted with paprika.
If you don’t have a big enough pot, you can cook the goulash in two pots simultaneously. Encourage people to add the extra soured cream – it’s an important part of the finished flavour.
If you can’t get fresh peppers, use the same number of ready-roasted peppers in oil, from a jar, drained and sliced. Add at the end of step 4 to warm through.
The day before, prepare the goulash up to step 4 but only cook it for 2 hours. Leave to cool, then chill overnight so the flavours meld together. The next day, reheat for 30-45 minutes, then continue from step 5.
To freeze: cook as above, then freeze in handy-size batches for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly, then reheat and finish as above.
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