cartoon by marc johns.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oma's Beef Goulash!

My grandma (who we call "Oma," which means grandma in German)  grew up in Vienna, Austria before WWII.  She got out and into England through the Kindertransport program, which saved her life.  She is an amazing woman with an incredible life story.  Anyway, my family got together this weekend to learn her recipe for goulash, which is an Austrian/ Hungarian/ Polish/ German Beef Stew.  This is her recipe (hooray!).
My Oma!
I arrived a little late to the cooking session due to LA traffic, so I don't have an ingredients picture or many pictures along the way.  But all you really need is the recipe anyway.  This is a hearty, warming stew.  You can also add more liquid and call it "goulash soup," as Oma said.  Typically you eat it poured over egg noodles.  It is also common to add a dab of sour cream or plain yogurt to the bowl before you eat.  Our family didn't do that, but if you want that tang, feel free to add it to yours!

This recipe makes enough for 8-10 servings, probably.

1 huge green pepper, cut into chunks (or 2 medium green peppers)
1 huge red pepper, cut into chunks (0r 2 medium red peppers)
4 small yellow onion, cut into chunks
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small turnip, peeled and sliced
olive oil
canola oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
3 cups of tomato sauce
about 2 1/2 pounds of beef (or buffalo) stewing meat or beef (or buffalo) braising tips, cut into chunks
7-8 small Yukon gold potatoes, cut into chunks
beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of paprika
egg noodles
Plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)

To Cook:
1.  Saute the onions in a little olive oil and a little canola oil.
2.  In a separate pan, saute the red pepper in canola oil.
3.  In another separate pan, saute the green pepper in canola oil.  Oma says the reason you saute them all in separate pans is so that each vegetable retains its flavor instead of all sort of tasting like each other.
4.  Add the sliced carrots, turnip, and garlic to the onions.  Saute all the vegetables until soft.
5.  Pour the tomato sauce into a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add in the vegetables when ready.  Stir.
6.  Saute the beef chunks in canola oil until browned.  Add into the tomato sauce mixture with all juices.

Sauteing the meat.
Into the pot!
7.  Add the spices and stir.  Pour in either broth or water until liquid just covers the meat and veggies.
8.  Prepare and slice the potatoes and put to the side. 
9.  Simmer the mixture, with lid on, for about 2 hours or until meat is extremely tender.
10.  Once meat is ready, add in the potatoes and simmer with lid mainly on, but a little off for another 1/2 hour, or until potatoes are finished.
11.  Boil water and prepare egg noodle pasta.  After draining water, put finished noodles into dutch oven and stir.  Simmer for another 2 minutes.  
12.  Take off heat and serve.  We ate it on a plate and used crusty bread to soak up the broth.  You can also eat it in a bowl like stew and add a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.  

Note: For health reasons (for Oma), we added barely any salt.  Please taste and add more salt (or pepper, basil, paprika, garlic) to taste.

A plateful of goulash.
Very filling and hearty!

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