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Znojemsky goulash


Znojemský guláš
Goulash as in Znojmo

Znojmo is a picturesque little town in the south of Moravia, near the Austrian border. It is famous for its “okurky”; its gherkins. If you see a Czech recipe with “Znojmo” in the name, you can be sure there’s gherkins in it. In this recipe for goulash the gherkins are added just before serving, so they’ll stay crisp and crunchy.

Znojemský guláš

1 kg. beef
3 onions
1 tbsp. mustard
4 – 5 gherkins
½ tsp. hot paprika
1 tbsp. mild paprika
salt to taste

Cut the onions and sauté them in oil or butter until translucent. Take the pot from the fire and add the paprika. Quench with water, about 1 l., and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling add the cubed beef. Season with salt and mustard. Let it simmer until the meat is tender.

Slice the gherkins and add them to the goulash, give it a few minutes to warm en serve, with dumplings or boiled potatoes.

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Chicken paprikás


Paprikás csirke
Chicken paprikás

A “paprikás” is a goulash in a thick, creamy sauce. A creamy mushroom goulash is called a “gombapaprikás”, one with catfish is a “harcsapaprikás” and a creamy potato goulash is a “paprikás krumpli”. The most famous of them all is this one, the “paprikás csirke”, creamy chicken goulash.

It is a real classic, this lovely chicken paprikás. In all neigbouring countries as popular as in Hungary itself. Not surprisingly, because it not only is a very tasty dish, it is also a simple, easy-to-make recipe which will cost hardly any work; it is cheap; it is low-fat and very healthy. And the smell! That lovely, full, prickly paprika-smell that fills the kitchen. That smell alone makes your mouth water.

The one and only, old-fashioned grandma-style recipe for paprikás csirke is made with a whole chicken, cut in 8. We don’t do that. We are going to make our lives a little bit easier by using chicken haunches, just like they do in the restaurants.

Paprikas csirke

to serve 4 we need:
4 chicken haunches
2 onions
1 generous tbsp. sweet paprika
2 dl. sour cream (and some more for serving)

The recipe for this Hungarian creamy chicken goulash or paprikás csirke is as easy as falling from a log. Heat a few tbsp. of oil in a pan. Sauté the chicken haunches quickly on all sides until golden brown. They don’t have to be done on the inside; just browning is enough. Take the chicken out and put aside.
Reduce the heat, chop the onions and sauté them very gently in the remaining fat until translucent. Take your time: if you are done in less than 20 minutes you are going too fast. Take care not to brown them. When the onions are done, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the paprika. Quench it immediately with water. Bring it to a boil and put the chicken haunches in. There should be enough water to cover them more or less. Cover half with a lid and let it gently, gently simmer until the chicken is tender and the meat practically falls from the bones. That might take up to 1 – 1½ hrs.

Now stir in the cream. Let it simmer on for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

That’s the whole recipe for a real Hungarian paprikás csirke.

Serve the chicken in the sauce with galuska, lots of the delicious sauce and a generous spoonful of sour cream.

Paprikás csirke

Paprikás csirkemell
Paprikás csirke with chicken breast

The big advantage of chicken is that the meat contains no fat. The big disadvantage of chicken is that the skin is practically nothing but fat. If you want a “diet” version of this wonderful paprikás csirke or if you just don’t like the fat skin, you can use chicken breast. Your paprikás will lose a tiny little bit in rich taste, but has the advantage that it is ready in less than half the time.

Paprikas csirke

The ingredients for this paprikás csirke are the same as in the original recipe, except that the chicken haunches are replaced with chicken breasts. The recipe itself is a little different. Start with the onions. Chop them and sauté them gently in a little oil until translucent. Cut the chicken breasts in halves and put the kettle on, because when the onions are done we will need some boiling water.

When the onions are translucent, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the paprika. Add the chicken breasts, stir well and pour immediately boiling water, just enough to cover everything more or less. Put the pan back on the stove and let the chicken, with the lid half on it, genlty simmer until they’re done. That would be half an hour at the most.

When the chicken is done, stir in the sour cream and let it cook for a few minutes more. Ready.

Serve with galuska, pasta or rice, lots of sauce and a nice blob of sour cream on top.

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Creamy mushroom goulash


Tejfölös gombapaprikás
Creamy mushroompaprikás

The name of this goulash is actually a pleonasm, for a paprikás is always “tejfölös”, creamy. Never mind. This goulash tastes so incredabily creamy and good that it fully deserves the name.

Creamy mushroom goulash

½ kg. mushrooms
1 large onion
1 tsp. hot paprika
½ tsp. ground caraway
1 small green bell pepper
1 large tomato
1 dl. sour cream

Chop the onion and sauté over low heat in a few tbsp. of oil until translucent.

In the meantime, cut the mushrooms in not too small pieces. Clean the pepper and cut in strips. Chop the tomato.

When the onions start to brown add the caraway, the paprika and the mushrooms. Mix quickly and add ½ dl. of water, the tomato and the bell pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover with a lid and let it simmer for half an hour.

When the mushrooms are tender enough to your taste, mix the flour with the sour cream. Stir it into the goulash and bring to a boil again. Add some water until the goulash has a nice thickness, but not more than about 1½ dl. Let it simmer for a few minutes to let the flour cook. When the surface becomes clear, the goulash is ready.

Hungarians usually eat this paprikas with pasta, either home made or industrial. It goes also well with rice, or as an accompaniment to meat. Eat it the day you make it and don’t put it in the fridge. That will ruin the taste.


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Goulash with figs



This would have been a pretty oridinary stew made of beef, onions, paprika, tomatoes and wine if it weren’t for the secret weapon that lifts this Croatian goulash above the ordinary: fruit. Sunny Croatia produces an abundance of the sweetest, juiciest figs. Figs we are going to add to this goulash, together with some cinnamon and a little nutmeg.
No figs? Use some prunes instead, just as in a Dalmatian pašticada.

For this Croatian goulash we need:
1 kg. beef
2 large onions
1 tsp. caraway
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. sweet paprika
2 dl. red wine
1 can tomato purée
1 tsp. dried majoram
2 bay leaves
1 pinch nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
a handful of dried figs
salt and pepper

Chop the onion and sauté in a few tbsp. of oil, together with the caraway. Meanwhile cube the beef. When the onion becomes translucent add the chopped garlic. Increase the heat and add the beef. Brown it quickly on all sides.

Remove the pot from the fire and stir in the paprika. Quench with the wine and a glass of water (or broth) and mix in the tomato purée. Season with majoram, bay leaves, some nutmeg and salt and pepper. Don’t forget the cinnamon stick, Put it back on the stove and let it simmer until the meat is tender.

After an hour, when the meat is half done, add the figs. Add a little water if necessary and let it gently cook until the meat is tender.

Serve this goulash with pasta or gnocchi.

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Slovakian goulash


Slovenský guláš
Slovakian goulash

This goulash is also called Kotlíkový guláš, “cauldron goulash”, exactly like the Hungarian bográcsgulyás, and made with the same cooking gear and the same ingredients, but with one difference: the meat. This Slovakian goulash is not made with beef, but with pork, or sometimes with half beef, half pork. The version with beef is usually called Maďarský guláš, Hungarian goulash, genoemd. “Usually”, because there are recipes circulating for a Maďarský guláš with pork.

The confusion undoubtedly has to do with the staunch conviction of many Slovaks that goulash -originally- is not a Hungarian dish at all. No Sir! Goulash -as the story goes- came marching in with the Ottoman armies when they invaded the Balkans so many centuries ago. That would account for the all-important paprika, which was called Turkish pepper at that time. According to others, it has its origins in a dish of the shepherds of the Tatra mountains who, coming from the Carpathians in the south-east, were the first to populate the Slovakian area. Where the goulash actually got its name from, if not from the Hungarian cowboys, remains unclear, but we are not going to bicker over details. What every one agrees on is the simple truth that those @#%&!!! Hungarians have appropriated goulash -unfairly! UNFAIRLY!- as their national dish.

Slowaakse goulash

1 kg. pork (shoulder/neck)
1 kg. onions
ground caraway
1 tbsp. tomato purée
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. hot paprika
1 kg. potatoes

Chop the onions and sauté gently in some oil until translucent. Meanwhile, cut the pork in cubes. When the onions are soft and styart to brown, add the meat. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and a tsp. ground caraway. The meat will loose some liquid. Cook till it is evaporated and the meat brwons a little. Now add the tomato puree and let it cook a few minutes.

Bring some water to a boil in your kettle. When the goulash has turned into a thick substance, add the chopped garlic. Wait a little until it starts to smell, then stir in the paprika. Quench immediately with the boiling water, enough to cover it all. Wait until it boils again, lower the heat and let the goulash gently simmer until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile peel the potatoes and cut them lengthwise in four. Add them to the goulash when the meat is starting to tenderize and let it simmer on until the potatoes are done.

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