When I was a kid, my mother made this at least once a week. While other kids had taco night, lasagne night, tuna casserole night (all mysterious foreign food in my childhood home), we had goulash night, schnitzel night, rouladen night, and beef with dill sauce night. Did I mention I spoke with a German/ Czech accent until first grade when the school system enrolled me in speech classes?
When I was growing up, my friends would have me over for supper and say "my mom is making goulash for dinner". Imagine my horror when I sat down to a plate of elbow macaroni, tomato sauce and ground beef. WTF? That's not goulash!
Delicious? Maybe, but THIS IS NOT GOULASH!
This is the way my mom made goulash. She always used pork and never beef, and when I was in highschool, learning to make this recipe, she told me her secret ingredient. My mother made me swear to never admit it, but her secret ingredient is ketchup. She would kill me if she knew I was posting this on the internet, because the cardinal rule of true goulash is to NEVER add tomatoes. EVER.
In my house, sometimes we would have a "special" occasion and my mom would make Segedin Goulash. Naturally, since this was the "fancy" goulash, it was (and still is) my favorite. What makes it so special? You add sauerkraut to the goulash just before cooking. HA! So fancy huh? Anyway, although I love it, I only include this as an option at the end since most people I know despise sauerkraut.
This dish can be served over egg noodles, but we ALWAYS had it with Czech dumplings (Knedlicky), which is like a boiled loaf of delicious white bread. These sponge-like dumplings are the perfect thing for soaking up all the sauce. Leftover dumplings (if any) can be cubed, fried in butter until toasted and mixed with scrambled eggs and sauteed onions for a real old-school Czech breakfast!
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion diced
1/2 cup sweet paprika
3 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsp water
In a large pot heat oil over medium high heat. Add 1/2 pork and toss quickly as if stirfrying to coat with oil. Brown pork very well, remove from pot and repeat with remaining pork.
Add onions to oil and pork drippings and cook until soft, add paprika and stir to mix. Add garlic, salt, pepper, ketchup and stock and stir. Return pork to pot, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 45- 60 minutes, stirring occasionaly, until pork is very tender.
Combine flour and water and stir until a thick, smooth, slurry forms. Add flour mixture to goulash, 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring after each addition until sauce is thick (you probably will only add 1 Tbsp).
Serve hot with Czech dumplings and garnish with sour cream.
For Segedin Goulash, add 2 cups rinsed, sauerkraut 15 minutes before serving.