I know, it has been a while. I’ve been traveling a lot, both for work and for fun. Spent a weekend in Sonoma sipping wine and relaxing with friends. Went to Seattle for work and actually spent a little time in the city for a change. Had some beer in Denver. Went to the Salt Lick for their famous Texas BBQ (for those of you who don’t want to drive, its also available at the Austin airport). Spent three days at the Dallas airport. Made a second trip to Austin to run my first half marathon in over four years! Slowest time ever clocked, but a finish is a finish. Celebrated with dinner at Paul Qui’s Uchiko restaurant.
I have a few weeks at home before the travel starts up again and I’ve been spending that time in the kitchen. While it can be fun exploring new places on the road, eating out also gets tiring. Sometimes, I just want a home cooked meal.
In 2008, Joel and I spent some time in Budapest. Every restaurant there has their own version of goulash, a simple beef stew spiked with a ton of paprika (a spice I thought was only good for deviled eggs). I still remember eating some leftover goulash and spaetzle with a drink stirrer (didn’t have plastic utensils) on a train to Zagreb after a long night of drinking. I found this goulash recipe online and made a few modifications. I cooked it after dinner on a Monday night and had it for dinner a few days later. Hit the spot!
Hungarian Goulash (barely adapted from All Recipes)
- 3 onions, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper (I chopped but would prefer diced or minced)
- 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1.5 cups beef broth
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ~3/4 cup red wine (to taste)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions in oil, stirring frequently. Throw peppers & garlic in a few minutes after the onions. When onions are soft, remove vegetables and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Coat beef cubes in spice mixture, and cook in onion pot until brown on all sides. Deglaze the pan with red wine and let the alcohol burn off for a bit.
- Return vegetables to the pot, and pour in tomato paste and beef broth. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1.5 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender.
I meant to serve the goulash with spaetzle but was pressed for time so I made a quick 3-minute polenta with beef broth and goat cheese. There’s another serving in the freezer so when I have time, I’ll make the spaetzle.