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As summer approaches (like we really have to deal with a challenging summer on the beach) and we are getting into the hotter months, we are running out of days to do slow cooked goodness. Summer usually means a lot less oven time and a whole lot more grilling time.Trust me, there will be a lot of grilling recipes coming up. A lot.
In honor of another horrible 72 degree beach day we are going to slow cook some German goulash and make some homemade noodles! Oh fuck yes.
When growing up my mother used to make her own version of goulash. Her’s involved some ground beef, a can of tomato sauce, a can of corn and some cooked elbow macaroni. I loved my mother more than anything but holy shit, Ma. The fuck are you doing with the goulash? She did add a lot of paprika which kind of helped. Trailer park goulash was actually kind of tasty but it wasn’t the real deal. This shit is. It can also be made with a slab of pork butt but we will be using beef today.
The thing about goulash is it needs tons of black pepper and a measurable weight of paprika. We are gonna paprika the fuck out of this.
Did I just use paprika as a verb? Bet your goddamn fur I did!
Let’s do this kids!
To do this correctly you will need:
For the goulash
A boneless chuck roast – about 3 pounds or so cut into chunks
One large onion diced
5 cloves of garlic minced
4 cups of beef stock
1/4 cup of red wine – I’m using a 2012 Bel Terra Cabernet Sauvignon today but any red wine will do. Except porter. That shit is harsh.
Some glugs of vegetable oil
6 oz can of tomato paste
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
A metric shit-ton of paprika – I’m using regular paprika and smoked Spanish paprika. If you can get hot Hungarian paprika use that.
1 tsp of dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar
To get started, cut the chuck roast into cubes/chunks. You can use stew meat and I certainly have in the past but with stew meat you are getting several different cuts of meat. Sometimes it could be tri-tip, sometimes it could be filet mignon, it’s usually just scraps that are too good to throw away. It also means some of these cuts will have different cooking times. Use one solid slab-o-meat and you have a nice predictability with the cooking time. Besides, there’s something really primal about hacking a big slab of meat into pieces. You can unleash your inner serial killer. Die fucker! Mind you don’t cut yourself, Mordecai!
Bring a dutch oven up to temp on your stove top, (you could slow cook this for a few hours in a 350 degree oven but I feel like I have a little more control on the stove top. I can adjust the seasoning levels and viscosity as it cooks. Neat!) Add some vegetable oil. Toss the chunks of meat in a plastic bag with some flour to coat. Working in batches sear the floured cow flesh for about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place in bowl until ready to resume. Turn off the heat on the stove and deglaze the pan with the red wine. See those crusty bits of brown that are sticking to the bottom of the pan? We will use these crusty bits. Oh yes we will. Turn the heat back on to medium, start sauteing those onions in the red wine/brown bits sauce, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and the tomato paste. Stir. Put the browned meat back into the pan and add the beef stock, thyme, bay leaves and vinegar. Couldn’t hurt to add a little more salt, pepper and paprika. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. If needed, you can thicken the sauce at the end by adding a roux.
You don’t know how to make a roux? How did you manage to live long enough on this planet without learning to make a roux? Equal parts butter and flour, stir in a saute pan until incorporated, add in a ladle of the sauce, mix well, slowly add back into the dutch oven and simmer. Jesus! Don’t know how to make a roux. Fuck!
It should look something like this while simmering.
For the noodles.
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt.
Mix together the salt and the flour and make a little mound with a well in the center *see picture. Add in the eggs. Using your hands, you did wash your hands didn’t you? Wash your hands before you start fucking around with the food you fucking neanderthal.
Make a softball/baseball size glob of dough, cover with plastic wrap and rest for about half an hour. I use my ultra high tech Kitchenaid mixer with pasta roller attachment.
You know how some guys will have their buddies over for a visit and they’ll be like “Hey Bob! Take a look at my new leaf blower/riding lawn mower/chainsaw”? Kitchen tools are my big thing. One of these days you may see my cast iron skillet. Smokin’ hot Utensil Porn! This is my Kitchenaid stand mixer with optional pasta roller and pasta cutter attachment. That’s my bad motherfucker.
Use your preferred pasta maker or just roll really thin and cut the noodles with a knife and let dry for about an hour.
These will cook in some salted water for just 2-3 minutes.
Cook the noodles, ladle some goulash over the top and commence to grubbing, German style.
This goes really well with a red wine or a nice imported German lager. Fuck, this would go well with a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 but we’re trying to maintain some decorum.
This dish should have a little bite from the paprika, a little tang from the balsamic vinegar and a lot of savory goodness from everything else. I have absolutely no Germanic blood in my bones, just like I have no Italian but that doesn’t excuse us from making a delicious dish that is indigenous to the region.
Learn the food, learn the region, learn the history and make it your own.