Monday, January 24, 2011

Czech Goulash ( Guláš )

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!

Czech Goulash
 serves 4-6

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

1Tbsp flour
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.


    I despise people who despise sauerkraut

  2. OMG!!! Where have you been!!! My dad is Hungarian/Czech and Baba used to make the authentic goulash, altho I thought it was made w/ beef. I have been searching hi/lo for this recipe...THANKS for posting!!!!My Uncle tried to pass off the noodle crap pictured above as goulash when I asked for the recipe...he must nottuv had the same dish I had, lol. You wouldn't happen to have an authentic recipe for Chicken Paprikas?!?

    1. Hi Kim! Sorry it has taken me so long to respond! I'm glad you agree on the proper definition of goulash and I hope this recipe worked well for you, it has long been a staple in my family. I do indeed have a recipe for chicken paprikash from my sister-in-law who is Hungarian. I'll try to get it up on the blog in the next couple weeks! Na Zdravi!

  3. Mama Ozzy, you must be my Czech doppelgänger! I have the same story except substitute the Czech part for Chinese Jamaican and I spoke with a Jamaican accent in my Canadian grade school. My mom was suspicious of foreign American food, like casseroles, beef-a-roni in particular, but she would love this dish - her holy trinity is pork, garlic and wait for it - ketchup. And let me tell you, that woman can cook.
    This recipe was so good. It was BETTER than the many goulash dishes I enjoyed in Prague. I used pork shoulder and it was fork tender. The dumplings were light and airy, but the dough was hard to work with and I couldn't form the log. They were ugly but oh so good - flavorful and light, not bready at all. I'm making this for Mom when she visits.

    1. Thanks for your comments! I bet your mom is an amazing cook...Chinese-Jamaican is such an interesting, and I imagine flavorful, combination. So glad you like my goulash, and yes that dumpling dough is pretty tricky to work mom would sometimes wrap it in a dish towel and boil itin the towel, messy, but easier! Na Zrdravi!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.