Kolozsvári gulyás

Goulash

Kolozsvári gulyás
Cluj goulash

Kolozsvár is the Hungarian name for Cluj-Napoca, a city in Transylvania, nowadays Romania. Nowadays, because Transylvania has been part of the Kingdom of Hungary for centuries. After the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, as a member of the Central Powers, lost the Great War of 1914-1918, it was abolished. Hungary had to relinquish large parts of its territory to neighbouring countries that had in time chosen the winning side. Including Romania, that cashed in two-thirds of the Banat plus the whole of Transylvania.

The “Napoca” in Cluj-Napoca is an addition of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, who wanted the history of the city to go back to the Roman settlement Napoca that once had stood on that spot. That settlement lay in the former Roman province of Dacia, the birthplace of Romania, with which the dictator wanted to say that Transylvania was returned to its rightful owner. That he thereby, along with the rights of the Hungarian population, wiped fifteen hundred years of history under the carpet didn’t bother him at all. Truth is that the Roman city Napoca had returned to dust centuries before German immigrants founded a settlement on that spot in the 12th century. They called it Klausenburg, Kolozsvár in Hungarian. The place was given its town charter in 1270 by the Hungarian King Stefan V. Until 1918 the Hungarians took the lead in this beautiful city, much of which still recalls the luxurious years of the Dual Monarchy. A minority of Romanians was emplyed as labourers or servants. After W.W.I, the roles were reversed.

During W.W.II the Hungarians -with the blessing of Mr. A. Hitler- rejoined a large part of Transylvania to their state. They couldn’t have been thinking straight, because again they backed the wrong horse. The sense of timing of the Romanians proved on the contrary once again impeccable. After years of supplying oil, grain and troops to Nazi Germany they came just in time to their senses, when the first Soviet tanks rolled across the border. It did not go unrewarded: since 1947 the whole of Transylvania is Romanian territory again.

During the communist regime they muddled through, but since the comrades had to pack their bags the sky as somewhat cleared between the population groups. Cluj is now a multicultural city with a large majority of Romanians. Of the 80% Hungarians in 1910, only 20% remain. The German influence has completely disappeared, except perhaps in this goulash, in which cabbage is playing a leading role.

Kolozsvári gulyás

800 gr. beef shin (without the bone)
3 onions
1 tsp. hot paprika
1 tsp. ground caraway
1½ l. water
1 tomato
3 cloves garlic
800 gr. white cabbage
800 gr. potatoes
1 green bell pepper (or 2 tbsp. lecsó)
salt
parsley

Cube the meat. Sauté over a high heat in a few tbsp. of oil and set apart. Reduce the heat. Chop the onions and sauté in the remaining fat until translucent. When they slightly brown, take the pot from the fire, stir in the paprika and quench with water. Bring it to a boil. Put the meat back in the pot and season with caraway and salt. Add the chopped tomato en the grated garlic. Reduce the heat and let it simmer very gently for at least 2 hours.

Cut the cabbage and the peppers into strips. Peel the potatoes and cut them lengthwise in four. Add it to the goulash. Let it cook until the cabbage and potatoes are done and the meat is tender.

Sprinkle with chopped parsely before serving.

all goulash recipes

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