I had over a friend from France – Robin – very nice guy and a very good blues musician. His plan is to go by hitchhiking all the way to Australia along singing and playing his guitar and harmonica.
He has seen a lot of places and has been in a lot of places, having a lot of good stories to tell. He has been through Hungary but from his recollection didn’t eat tasty Hungarian food. So I had to correct his impression on Hungarian cuisine. I met with some friends with whom planned for ages to cook, gulyas soup in a cast iron kettle over an open fire. This was a very good opportunity to finally do it.
We went to our friends garden unpacked the kettle, set the fire and cooked the delicious goulash or gulyas as it’s called in Hungarian. It was the beginning of the summer on a long Sunday warm afternoon prolonging into the cooler night. In the meantime we had fun, singing talking and drinking beers. As it turned out, it was the start of the open fire kettle cooking – since this time we had another five cookouts at the same venue which (apparently) finished for this year at the end of September. Some of the recipes I already shared, some are still to come.
And here follows the recipe:
Ingredients (8-10 servings):
- 2 kg lean veal, preferably, but you can also use beef
- 1 kg onions
- 2 whole bulbs of garlic
- 2 kg potatoes
- 100 ml rendered pork lard or vegetable oil
- 1/2 kg red/green bell pepper
- 4 tomatoes – about 1/2 kg
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- sweet and hot paprika to taste ( 1 used about 1 tablespoon sweet and 1 tablespoon hot)
- Dice the veal into 2 cm cubes.
- Chop roughly the onion and garlic.
- Dice the bell peppers.
- Dice the tomatoes into 1 cm cubes.
- Clean and dice the potatoes into 2 cm cubes.
- Heat the rendered lard/oil into the cast iron kettle.
- Add to the kettle the chopped garlic and onion and fry, stirring them about 5 minutes until golden and fragrant.
- Add the diced meat and the hot and sweet paprika
- Fry them stirring from time to time for about 15 minutes until the meat has taken a brownish darker colour.
- Add water to cover and the salt and cumin to taste. Don’t use black pepper, all the hotness of this dish is from the cumin and hot paprika.
- Bring to boil and cook over a medium fire for about 2-3 hours until the meat is 2/3 done. It depends on the kind of meat you use and don’t’ forget to stir now and then. Because this step is a lengthy one, you can relax and sing a bit as we did with our recent friend Robin Madier.
- When the meat is about 2/3 done add the cubed potatoes, replenish with some more water to cover and cook for another circa 20 minutes.
- When the potatoes are almost done add the diced bell peppers and tomatoes, add if needed some more salt and sweet/hot paprika to taste.
- Cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes and peppers mostly melted in the pot of soup.
- Serve the soup while hot.