Slovakian goulash

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
salt
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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