It took me longer to write the stupid title than it did to make the actual recipe. Is it stew? Is it soup? Should I specify I used spinach? Should I leave it abstract? Should I make like the president and outright lie and claim […]
Goulash is an iconic Hungarian dish, and the only Hungarian food most
peasants people have heard of! Trying to work on being less of a food snob. Further bulletins as events warrant. I really wanted to make Goulash, especially since it’s freezing here. Stew is also the easiest thing in the world to make- throw a bunch of stuff into a Dutch Oven, turn the heat on, go lie in front of the fireplace and read Kurt Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut is optional. Not everyone’s cup of tea. But Goulash is everyone’s cup of stew! Well, except for vegetarians. The chunks of beef and broth wouldn’t go down too well with them. Feel free to substitute the beef with chicken, or just leave the meat out altogether and make it with veggies!
½ lb chuck steak
4 cups *unsalted* chicken or beef broth (Beef is definitely preferred, but I hardly ever keep any, so I used chicken broth)
1 yellow onion
1 head of garlic
8 oz tomato paste
1 Yukon Gold potato
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
1 bay leaf
Start by heating some olive oil in a pot. I love using my Dutch Ovens for stews in any way, shape, or form, but any heavy, flat bottomed pot will do!
Now throw in the paprika, and stir it around so it toasts a little bit. There are two kinds of paprika- Spanish and Hungarian. Spanish paprika is spicier, and brighter in color. Hungarian paprika tends to be a bit sweeter and darker.
While it toasts, slice the meat into chunks. Don’t try to use a ribeye or sirloin for stew- plain old chuck works the best! It’s one of the toughest cuts of meat, and it gets delicious and fork tender in a stew.
The paprika should be sizzling by now,
so dump the meat in, and sear it.
Don’t worry about cooking it through, since it’s going back in later. You just want to get some nice color on the outside! Once it’s seared, remove it from the pot.
Peel and slice the onions, carrot, and potato, and throw those in
with the tomato paste. Sear those too- I’ve found that when I sear vegetables as opposed to cooking them in liquid right away, they keep their flavor much better.
Now throw in the steak, add salt to taste,
and then pour in the broth. I like using unsalted because it lets me control the salt content completely. Making stew is a power trip for me.
Add in the bay leaf,
put the lid on, and let it simmer for 1-2 hours, checking it periodically. Once the meat is soft enough to cut with a fork, remove it from the heat, and serve it right away with crusty bread. Or soft bread. You do you!
Usually, this is the sort of food I run screaming from. Making this is very, very uncharacteristic of me. It’s just so *gag* healthy. Don’t y’all worry, though. I’m posting a nice sugary recipe right after this. And with this stew, which is surprisingly good. […]
It’s 80 degrees in October. I don’t care, I’m making stew. It was a good stew! Really simple to make, and it has pine nuts. I’m into whatever has pine nuts. Does anyone know if they actually come from pine trees like pinecones, or are they just imposters, like pineapples? I don’t know. I just like eating entire bags.
1 chicken breast
1 head of garlic
8.5 oz chicken broth
1 vegetable bouillon cube (I discovered these when I was making a stew for Chad a few months back. Changed my life)
2 oz thyme
1 dried chili pepper
3 tablespoons pine nuts (I forgot this. Oops)
Start by heating up some oil in a pan. Cube and throw in the chicken,
and crumble in the bouillon cube.
Sear them over high heat- you just want to get some color on them, you don’t need to worry about them being cooked through. Remove them to a bowl or plate (I personally get a huge kick from using stainless steel bowls for everything. Makes me feel professional),
and then deglaze the pan with some vegetable broth. You only need to pour in about a tablespoon- you really just want to let the liquid reduce into a flavorful glaze.
Pour the liquid into a cup, and set it aside.
Scrape the bottom with a spatula to get some of the dark specks, that’s where all the flavor is!
Now chop up the veggies. Don’t turn the heat off under the pot! Keep it on low, and right before you throw in the veggies, turn the heat to high. You want the pan to be screaming hot!
Stir around the veggies, and let them get nicely blackened.
Remove them from the pan,
and deglaze it one more time. I love deglazing. There’s something about the sizzle and smoke that’s very entertaining!
By now, we’re done deglazing.
Put the pine nuts in a mortar and pestle, and crush them up just a bit. Could you get the same result by chopping them? Yes! Would it be as much fun? No!
Now throw the chicken, veggies, pine nuts, broth, and thyme into the pot.
Bring it to a boil,
and then reduce the heat to low, put a lid on it, and let it cook for about 3 hours. Stir it occasionally to prevent sticking. By the time it’s done, it will be dark, flavorful, and nicely mushy. Serve it with rice, crackers, or on it’s own!
Stew is a recurring theme these days. There’s just something really wonderful about vegetables being edible! I can’t stand eggplant in any way but like this. It doesn’t feel slimy at all! And if you have any picky eaters, this is a great way to make them eat vegetables, you can’t really tell what what is! It’s got a surprisingly smoky taste- if you want barbecue, but your grill is under a foot of snow, this is a great meal.
3 sweet potatoes
1 head garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons sesame seeds (not shown)
4 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
First things first- sweet potatoes. These can be really tough to peel, but it helps if you bought these a couple of weeks ago and then forgot about them. Really helps to soften them.
Alternately, just microwave them for 90 seconds. That might be simpler. Peel them, and then chop them up and throw them into a pot.
Peel the garlic, any way you please. It’s a free country, last time I checked. That all could have changed in the last five minutes. Check Twitter to see what the fate of the nation is.
Chop the garlic up, and throw that in, too.
Now grab the okra! I love okra. Always have, always will. My favorite way to eat it is grilled with a touch of lemon and salt, but it’s great like this, too. Adds some nice smokiness!
Trim off the tops, and then cut them in half. Those go into the pot,
and then it’s eggplant time! Normally, I can’t stand eggplant. It’s the slimy texture. They’re the oysters of the land. Blech. But cooked down in this stew, the texture completely transforms! Cut off the top, and then lop it in half. Slice it up, and-
you guessed it- into the pot!
Now we just have the tomatoes left, so chop them out and chuck them into their new home. It’s where they truly belong.
Throw in the cayenne, water, and sesame seeds, stir it up,
put the lid on, and cook it for 2 long hours. When you take the lid off, it should look something like this.
Throw in some salt,
and serve it with garlic bread- because garlic bread makes everything just that much more magical!