Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Hungarian Golyàs w/ Seared Cabbage

The Lowdown:

If any of you know a west coast winter, you know how it can get you down. There's more grey outside than a 1950s photograph. Yes, I did look it up, photos were still greyscale in the 50s. The constant rain (and I mean rain-rain, none of this drizzle-ma-nizzle shit) left me two options. I could either start building my ark to drift away to somewhere with better weather, or I could cook a classic, well-loved, home-style meal to get rid of the blues. For starters, I'm no Tim the tool man Taylor. Nor am I a sailor. If I can rhyme one more time this blog post wont be a failure? Chalk it up, I'm a horrible rapper.

I digressed. The point I was intending to make, is that it is an excellent day for a nice warm-your-soul meal. That being said, we all have our own special meals. However, that ends here, because this is my blog. You will obey me when I say, "golyàs is a great anti-winter food." If the brainwashing didn't quite work, just keep reading anyway because you're entertained...?

Golyàs or goulash as it is commonly spelled, is a traditional Hungarian peasant meal that was left heating over a fire so that that the herders could grab a quick meal whenever. Like most peasant dishes, whatever they had is what was used. Luckily for me, that is a bonus, because my fridge literally had one carrot in the crisper. So this is my version of a very vegetable-less goulash.

The Playlist:

(Printable Recipe)

1 kg Beef sirloin tip roast, cubed (1-2")
3 Onions, coarsely chopped
5 Garlic cloves, diced
4 tbsp Paprika (Hungarian)
1 tbsp caraway seed, ground
1-2 Bay leaves.
Salt & Pepper
2-3 cups Water (or beef stock)
2 tbsp Oil (for browning onions)

1 Cabbage, quartered
Water (or chicken stock, I prefer the flavour of cabbage though).
2 tbsp Olive oil (for searing cabbage).

1 Parsnip, peeled & chopped
2 Potatoes, peeled & chopped
1 Green pepper, chopped
2 Tomatoes, chopped

The Skinny:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium heat (cast iron preferably).
  2. Brown onions and garlic in oil.
  3. Add the beef, paprika, and ground caraway seeds.
  4. Cook the beef until all sides are browned.
  5. Add enough water (or broth) to cover the beef cubes.
  6. Add the salt, pepper, and bay leaf.
  7. Cover with a lid and let simmer on medium-low for an hour to two hours (a simple trick that was passed on by my Oma to my father was to place a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper between the lid and the pot so that none of the moisture escapes).
  8. If adding any vegetables, put them in the pot, add more water if desired, and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour. If the sauce is too thin, remove the lid and allow it to cook off.
  9. Put cabbage quarters into a large skillet.
  10. Add enough water to cover approximately 1 inch of the bottom of the skillet.
  11. On high heat bring to a boil.
  12. Cover and let boil for 2-3 minutes per flat side.
  13. Remove cabbage quarters (they should retain their shape, and all leaves should remain intact).
  14. While excess water is draining from the cabbage, heat oil in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat.
  15. Once oil is hot enough, add cabbage and sear each side until browned.
  16. Salt and pepper to taste. 
  17. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes, csipetke, or by itself as a stew.

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