Last night I decided it was time to go back to my roots so to speak. I'm sure that it is very unPC of me but I always just lump all of the dishes from Hungary, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia together(unless of course we are talking dessert, then I can joyfully name where each tea ring, kolache and dumpling is from). In my mind you have a little stew of some kind, a knoedel of sorts and perhaps if you are feeling daring a lump of sour cream on top and you call it germanaustrianslovakia food.
Maybe when I get to culinary arts school I will learn something different and my life will be revolutionized. Maybe not, but for now, my little Czech self is going to claim that last night I went back to my roots...
making Hungarian Goulash.
Now with this dish I think the SA said it best when I said:
"Is it good? It better be, it's been cooking for the last three hours" and SA said:
"It took three hours to make this?"
and I glared.
Now don't get me wrong all of those three hours were not spent in the kitchen, but STILL. It was a really long time to cook and not feel wildly enthusiastic about the dish. Don't get me wrong, it was still really good and the leftover goulash was delish today so in the end... would I recommend this dish?
Sure it was good. :)
3 pounds of stew meat cut into bite size pieces seasoned with salt and cracked pepper
2 large onions sliced thin
olive oil for searing
2TBSP Hungarian paprika
2 garlic cloves sliced thin
1 TBSP caraway seeds
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 large can of tomato sauce
1/2 c. vegetable stock
kosher salt & pepper to taste
flour for searing meat
In a large dutch oven with a lid add enough olive oil to coat the pan and turn on high heat until oil shimmers but does not smoke. Pat the meat dry and dredge in flour seasoned with kosher salt and cracked pepper. Sear meat for about three to four minutes per side until it has a nice brown. When meat is all seared turn the heat to medium and add a little more olive oil and cook till the onions are tender about three to four minutes. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant thirty seconds more. Add the tomato paste, and paprika and cook for one to two minutes. Then add the tomato sauce, caraway seeds, lemon zest and stock and stir well. Bring to a summer for about fifteen minutes and taste for seasoning, adjusting as necessary. If the sauce is to thick add more stock or water until its the consistency of gravy. Simmer for two hours.
Now lets talk for a second about these bread dumplings. The first set I tried to make fell apart in the water it was gross. Just a scummy top layer of bread and grease. Yuck! I almost was unwilling to try again, but I sucked it up, drained the pot and added a little panko to the dough.
After all... my brotknoedel brings all the boys to the yard!
Brotknoedel or Bread Dumplings
loaf stale French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I used panko)
2 strips of bacon
.Place the bread cubes into a large bowl. Heat the milk until it starts to bubble at the edges, then pour it over the bread cubes. Stir briefly to coat the bread. Let soak for 15 minutes.
.Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until tender. Stir in the parsley, and remove from the heat. Mix into the bowl with the bread along with the eggs, salt and pepper and bacon.
Use your hands, squeezing the dough through your fingers until it is smooth and sticky.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. The water should be at least 3 or 4 inches deep. When the water is boiling, make a test dumpling about the size of a small orange or tangerine, by patting and cupping between wet hands. Gently drop into the boiling water. If it falls apart, the dough is too wet. In this case, stir some bread crumbs into the rest of the dumpling batter.
Form the remaining dough into large dumplings, and carefully drop into the boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove to a serving plate with a large slotted spoon. They should come out soft, spongy and delicious!