23 June 2015

Goulache hongroise au veau

I looked at a lot of recipes for Hungarian goulash, in books and on the web. Some were very simple (the French ones) with just a few ingredients. Others were very complicated (the American ones) with lists of dozens of ingredients. I tried to find a middle ground. To the left you see what I came up with.

My goulash didn't look much like these American versions of the dish, which are often made with ground beef ("mince").

I used a 900 gram (2 lb.) veal shoulder roast, because I had one in the freezer. I had planned to make Veau aux olives with it, but then the goulash idea came up. It's actually similar. The goulash sauce has less tomato in it, and of course a lot of paprika. I had some frozen bell pepper strips in three colors, and a couple of carrots, so in those went with the meat and onions.

The first step is to brown the meat, onions (2), and carrots (2) in butter or oil or lard. I used butter and rendered some larding fat in it (the roast I had was bardé — wrapped in thin strips of fat or bacon). I seasoned the mixture with a couple of tablespoons of paprika (three types: mild, hot, and smoked) along with salt at pepper.

Then I transferred the meat and aromatic vegetables to a baking dish. I wanted to cook the goulash in a slow oven for about two hours to make sure the meat was tender or moelleux. I didn't have any carraway seeds, which a lot of recipes called for, so I put in a piece of star anise (same kind of flavor).

Besides water and paprika, the sauce also contains about a cup of tomato sauce. You could also use fresh tomatoes or tomato paste. The goulash sauce isn't like an Italian tomato sauce, however — it's much thinner and more liquid — that way the paprika flavor shines through because it's not masked by too much tomato taste. Some oregano or marjoram is good cooked into the sauce.

After about 90 minutes of cooking, I added a good handful of frozen bell pepper strips to the dish. Thanks to the Picard frozen food stores for stocking such a nice ingredient.

I like this version of goulash. Next time I'll make it with beef  or pork (but I have to say the veal is very tender and tasty). I think it was good served with pasta and plain green beans. The paprika-flavored sauce went well with those.

And I forgot two things. I meant to add a tablespoon or two of vinegar to the sauce. I'll do that to perk up the leftovers. And I also meant to serve the goulash with a good tablespoon of crème fraîche (i.e. sour cream) on each plate. Today's lunch..

P.S. Here's a link to the recipe for goulash that I used as a guide.


  1. Oooh, I'll bet that your kitchen smelled heavenly. YumF!

  2. From the look of it, I think I'd like your goulache better than the one I had chez Françoise in Montoire

    1. P.S. How long is the remodelling of Walt's ofice going to take?

    2. I answered on Walt's blog.

  3. That really does look appetizing, Ken....
    we've some jarret of beef - Charolais...
    to be used or frozen...
    somehow I think frozen is now out of the question!!
    Pauline wanted to find ideas...
    you've been looking in our 'fridge again!!

    In the UK, most goulashes I've eaten, out...
    have been thick gravy dishes, this looks much nicer...
    and simpler, too.
    The nicest was in a pub in North Norfolk....
    where the landlady was Hungarian by origin...
    so it was probably a family recipe?!

    We make our own sliced peppers...
    whenever we are running low, we look for a pack of three or four multicolour bell peppers...
    I slice them up and tray freeze...
    empty contents into a ZipLock...
    we have plenty at the moment...

    Terre-y-Fruits in Descartes [and probably their other shops]...
    do trays of older stock at "fiver" on Friday mornings...
    it can be a melange... it can be just one thing...
    we were very well sorted for oyster mushrooms last year, for example...
    four kilos for a 5€ note, not bad...
    but all the bargains need processing that day.

    We haven't any string beans to serve it with, but our mangetout peas are in full swing...
    we'll use those before they get too big.

    Thanks, Ken...
    nice evening meal...

    1. Hope yours is as good as ours has been. We just finished our leftover lunch. Delicious.

  4. I hope you are feeling fine now, after your fall .

  5. Ken

    Sorry to read about your fall and your bruised rib. Pretty sure Callie would had gone to fetch Walt if you were in a worse position. She is a smart dog and must know that after a while, best to get the other fellow.

    The sauce for the goulash looks a bit like the sauce for chicken cacciatore though I am pretty sure the taste must be different since the aromatics and spices are not the same. I am pretty sure that some couscous will go well with the goulash :-)

  6. Made the goulash today in the slow cooker - excellent! Served with Spatles and home-grown courgette and mange-tout peas. Delicious! Pauline

  7. I was sorry to learn of your aunt's passing, Ken. It doesn't help being so far away when you really want to be with family at such a time.

    Sorry also about your fall. I fell hard crossing a very slippery street about 5 years ago, and that gave me religion about falling. Of course, as we age, these things happen. A friend, now age 96, fell about 10 years ago, and she never regained her balance. But her mind is clear.

    I have to comment on your goulash recipe. It looks delicious, and I will try it. Maybe not right away as we are on the cusp of summer heat -- high 80s yesterday (32 C) -- but it will get on the menu at some point.

    Va doucement until the rib heals. Best to you and Walt.

    1. Thanks Bob, for the message. We are lucky (?) not to have such hot weather over here. Actually, the temperature is supposed to hit 25ºC today and 30 tomorrow — our house does get pretty hot pretty fast and there's no AC. We just tough it out. The humidity usually stays pretty low.

      My mother fell last year and broke her wrist. I'm lucky I didn't break anything when I fell the other day. I think I'm pretty much recovered now, but I'm being careful.


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