Monthly Archives: November 2016

Pandur goulash


Pandur goulash

Tradition has it that this Pandur goulash originated in Jászberény, a town some 100 km. east of Budapest. The story looks suspiciously like that of the Székely goulash. A group of late guests were regaled with a Duke Humphrey dinner, refused to put up with it and urged the proprietor of the establishment to do better. After some fiddling in the kitchen, the man came back with a mishmash of leftovers: some veal and a few potatoes, cooked to a thick soup with bone marrow, jollied up with cream, green peas and a handful of mushrooms. Some bread to it and Bob’s your uncle. The story doesn’t tell if that same evening the name, Pandur goulash, was invented.

Pandur goulash

The Pandurs were loose associations of soldiers from Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, in the service of the Austrian army to defend the border with the Ottoman Empire. They were tough guys, hardened during long years of merciless struggle against the Turks, and were notorious for the cruel treatment they administered to the enemy and the own peasantry alike. In Hungary, the word “Pandur” is not only used to refer to the brutal militiamen. It is also a nickname for the members of each of the two professional groups that were combined in these bruisers: policemen and bandits, of the latter especially the kind that makes the roads unsafe. This goulash is also called betyárgulyás. The betyárok were what the English call highwaymen: muggers who had made it their specialty to rob defenseless travelers. The word is of Ottoman origin, where it means “bachelor”.

None of these facts however, interesting as they may be, shed any light on the pressing question why this stew of veal, mushrooms and root vegetables was named “bandit goulash”. A possible explanation might lie in one of the ingredients, viz. the bone marrow with which this goulash is enriched. In bygone days bone marrow was often used, especially in soups and stews. The stuff dissolves in it and gives the dish a rich, fatty, sweetish taste which was highly appreciated by our ancestors. Medical science has, with threats about horrible diseases, virtually purged our kitchens of the stuff, but as real Pandurs we don’t give a hoot about doctors and dietists. Veal goulash with bone marrow. Yummy.

1 kg. veal shoulder
1 large onion
1 tbsp. mild paprika
1 tsp. hot paprika
1 bay leaf
150 gr. mushrooms
2 carrots
1 parsnip
150 gr. peas (fresh or frozen)
sour cream
tarragon vinegar
500 gr. pork bone marrow

Put the bones with the marrow inside a couple of days in lightly salted water. That will extract the blood and impurities from the marrow. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for a few minutes. Now the marrow is soft enough to push it out of the bones with your fingers. Chop finely and set aside.

Chop the onion and cook gently in a little oil until translucent. Meanwhile cut the veal into cubes. Turn the heat up and brown the meat quickly on all sides. Remove the pan from the fire, stir in the paprika and quench immediately with water, enough to cover the meat. Reduce the heat, add the bay leaf and let it simmer until the meat starts to tenderize.

Meanwhile, clean and slice the mushrooms and root vegetables. Add them to the goulash. Let it cook until the meat is tender and the vegetables are almost done. Now add peas, mustard, dill and tarragon plus the bone marrow and let it simmer quietly on for five minutes.

Finish it off with a generous blob of cream. Season to taste with tarragon vinegar and serve with bread, rice or galuska.

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Kolozsvári gulyás


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)

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.

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Paloc goulash


Palóc leves
Paloc soup

The Palóc is an ethnic group that came from the east in the 9th century and settled in the Cserháter hills, northeast of Budapest, on the border with Slovakia. Despite their origins, their dialect, their costumes and the architecture of their homes, which sets them apart from the Hungarians in other parts of the country, the Palóc have long been considered “real” Hungarians. Their number is estimated at 200,000, but the distinction between different communities is hardly possible because of the extensive modernization, let alone that it makes sense. After all, no one wears traditional costumes any more, and who still speaks dialect except at mother’s kitchen table? All regional differences are slowly disappearing, there as well as anywhere. What remains is folklore. If you want a little taste of that, the village of Hollókő, on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1987, is the place to be.

This goulash soup is not on that list, but it is still very much around. It is called a “leves”, a soup, but it is really a genuine Hungarian goulash: a very, very wet stew of meat, potatoes and onions, seasoned with paprika.

600 gr. lean lamb
1 big red onion
1 clove garlic
400 gr. green beans
2 large potatoes
1 small bunch of parsley
3 tbsp. lard or oil
1 tsp. hot paprika
1 tsp. ground caraway
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. flour
2 dl. sour cream

Wash the meat, dry it and cut in cubes. Chop the onion and the garlic. Melt the lard in a pot and sauté the onion until translucent. Increase the heat and add the meat. Season with garlic, caraway an bay leaf, sear until brown, sprinkle with paprika and quench with 1½ l. of water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until the meat is tender.

Peel the potatoes and cut in cubes. Clean the green beans and cut in 2 or 3. Add it to the meat, cover it and let it simmer until done.

Mix the flour with the sour cream an add it to the goulash. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the paloc goulash with chopped parsely and serve.

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Goulash – recipes

BográcsgulyásCauldron goulash
Andrássy gulyásAndrássy goulash
Alföldi gulyásPoesta goulash
AratógulyásHarvest goulash
Palóc gulyásPalóc goulash
Csángó gulyásCsángó goulash
Székely gulyásSzékely goulash
Kolozsvári gulyásGoulash as in Cluj
PandúrgulyásPandur goulash
Szegedi gulyáscsirkeChicken goulash from Szeged
Jókai bablevesJókai beangoulash
Lencsegulyáslentil goulash
Zöldbabgulyásgreen bean goulash
HalászléFisherman’s goulash

Goulash - recipes

MarhapörköltBeef pörkölt
Vörösboros marhapörköltBeef pörkölt with red wine
CsirkepörköltChicken pörkölt
SertespörköltPork pörkölt
Tejfölös csirkepörköltcreamy chickenpörkölt
Birkapörköltlamb pörkölt
GombapörköltMushroom pörkölt
RókagombapörköltChanterelle pörkölt
VaddisznópörköltWild boar pörkölt
PacalpörköltTripe pörkölt
ZuzapörköltChicken gizzard pörkölt
PontypörköltCarp pörkölt

Paprikás csirkeChicken páprikas
Tejfölös gombapaprikásMushroom paprikás
Paprikás krumpliPotato paprikás
Harcsapaprikáscatfish paprikás

Goulash - recipes


SaftgulaschViennese beef goulash
SachergulaschGoulash à la Sacher
FiakergulaschCabman’s goulash
HerrengulaschGentleman’s goulash
DamengulaschLadies’ goulash
Stefanie gulaschStefanie-goulash
Ungarische gulaschHungarian goulash
Debrecziner gulaschGoulash from Debreczen
Ofener gulaschGoulash from Buda
Pester gulaschGoulash from Pest
Preßburger gulaschGoulash from Bratislava
Triestiner gulaschGoulash from Triëste
Fiumer gulaschGoulash from Fiume
TürkengulaschTurkish goulash
Bosnische gulaschBosnian goulash
Frankfurter gulaschFrankfurter goulash
Znaimer gulaschGoulash from Znojmo
NaschmarktgulaschMarket goulash

Goulash - recipes

ScheinswadlgulaschPork shin goulash
KalbsgulaschVeal goulash
KaisergulaschEmperor’s goulash
Maximilian gulaschMaximilian goulash
RindsgulaschBeef goulash
SalongulaschSalon goulash
RahmgulaschCreamy beef goulash
BauerngulaschPeasant’s goulash
RotweingulaschRed wine goulash
HirschgulaschDeer goulash
ErdäpfelgulaschPotato goulash
Erdäpfelgulasch 1914Potato goulash 1914
Erdäpfelgulasch mit DürrePotato goulash with sausage
EierschwammerlgulaschChanterelles goulash
UmurkengulaschCucumber goulash
Paradeiser-KürbisgulaschPumpkin goulash

Goulash - recipes


Hovězí gulášBeef goulash
Hospodský gulášRestaurant goulash
Gulaš podle Magdaleny RettigovéGoulash acording to Magdalena Rettigova
Plzeňský gulášPilsen goulash
Popovičky gulašGoulash as in Popovice
Karlovarský gulášGoulash as in Karlovy Vary
Znojemský gulášGoulash as in Znojmo
Svratecký gulášSvratka goulash
Koňský gulášHorse goulash
Zabíjačkový gulášPig slaughter goulash
Hornický gulášMiner’s goulash
Houbový gulášMushroom goulash
Paprikás csirkePaprika chicken


Slovenský gulášSlovakian goulash
Segedínsky gulášSzeged goulash
Baraní gulášLamb goulash
Bratislavský gulášGoulash as in Bratislava
Guláš s klobásouSausage goulash

Goulash - recipes


GulašCroatian goulash with figs
Gulaš iz pećniceGoulash from the oven
Gulaš od gljivaMushroom goulash


Prekmurski bogračGoulash from Prekmurje
Gobov golaž s krompirjemMushroom and potato goulash


Bosanski gulašBosnian goulash


Srpski gulašSerbian goulash
Zlatiborski gulašGoulash as in Zlatibor

Goulash - recipes

Csángó goulash


Csángó gulyás
Csángó goulash

The Csángó (Romanian: Ceangăi) are an ethnic group in Romanian Moldova, a region in northeast Romania. There are several theories as to how these ethnic Hungarians ended up there.

The Hungarians -all of them- are originally from Russia, roughly from the region between the Black and the Caspian Sea. In the 9th century, they got it into their heads that they were better off in the west. Killing and looting, they reached the current Hungary. The Csángó would be the descendants of a group that got fed up with all the wandering and stayed behind halfway in Moldova. Another theory has it that they are the descendants of the Cumans who lived in Moldavia around the year 1000. This theory is challenged by scientists who think they know that the group could never have survived the Mogol invasion of 1241-1242. So we resort to yet another theory, which claims that the Csángó did reach Hungary initially, but for some reason or other went back to Moldova. That would have happened womewhere in the late thirteenth century, after the Mongols had left the area as suddenly as they had appeared.

Either way they are still there, and even though the Csángó community is in many aspects indistinguishable from the Romanians, there are a few fundamental cultural differences such as religion (they are Roman Catholic, where the vast majority of Romanians is Orthodox), language (the so-called Csángó-Hungarian), traditional dress and music. And there is this goulash, which suspiciously resembles the Székely goulash, the stew of the Szeklers, another major Hungarian ethnic group in Romania.

Csángó goulash

1 large onion
500 gr. (17.6 oz.) beef, cubed
1 tsp. hot paprika
1 tsp. ground caraway
2 cloves garlic
500 gr. (17.6 oz.) sauerkraut
2 green bell peppers
50 gr. (1.76 oz.) rice
2 dl. sour cream
salt and pepper

Chop the onion and sauté in some oil over low heat in a skillet until translucent. Meanwhile, cube the beef. Heat some oil or lard in a pot and stir-fry the beef quickly until brown on all sides. Add enough hot water to cover it, bring it to a boil and reduce the heat.

When the onions are done, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in caraway and paprika. Add it to the beef in the pot. season with grated garlic and salt and let simmer.

Chop the sauerkraut and cut the peppers in strips. When the meat starts getting tender, add it to the pot together with the rice. Add some water if it is not completely covered. Let it simmer until the meat is tender.

Mix in the sour cream, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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