Why I decided to make Goulash for the first time
You would think it's because I live in Hungary and I want to try typical Hungarian goulash (soup), but that's not the case. I've made goulash to make these typical Dutch snacks:
They are called 'Bitterballen' and are a typical Dutch snack at birthday- or other parties. We also have something similar (where we can use different fillings btw) called 'Kroket', probably that's known outside Holland as croquettes. I'm craving for the ones that have the same filling as bitterballen and I looked up the recipe so I could make both of them at home.
These are the ingredients you need for the goulash
You can use other meat if you prefer to do so, depending on your preference or if you find a good deal in the supermarket. Most of the recipes differ so I will share the recipe as I made it. If you follow this recipe exactly, you will end up with 2 large portions of goulash, so you can make a variety of different snacks or eat it wit puff pastry if you like that.
Keep in mind that half of this recipe should be enough for several people (depending on how you will eat it of course) but I prefer making larger portions as it takes quite some time to prepare it. It all depends on how often you like spending a lot of time in the kitchen to prepare this, I prefer making a stash of snacks and keep them in the freezer.
For the goulash:
- 1 kg goulash meat
- 1 big (or 2 smaller) red paprika
- 2 liters water
- 2 onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 big spoons paprika powder
- olive oil and butter (for the baking)
- 120 grams of butter
- 120 grams of flour
- 8 gelatine leaves (about 14 grams)
- 50 grams tomato purée
- salt and pepper
- lovage (maggi)
If you want to make snacks with the goulash, you will have to leave it in the fridge overnight so I chose to make the goulash in the evening and make the snacks the next day. If you aren't using it for snacks, you can skip that part.
But be aware that the meat will have to stew for about three hours before it's ready to make the goulash.
Use some olive oil and butter and wait until the pan is hot enough. Meanwhile, cut the onions and throw them in the pan. Cut the garlic cloves into small pieces and add them to the onions. Now add the goulash meat to this while you cut the paprika in small parts. Sear the meat before you add the paprika. Add 2 big spoons of paprika powder to the mix, stir it and add 2 liters of water and mix it up again. Now you will have to be patient for a few hours (about 3), keep stirring every 15 minutes or so and make sure to keep a close eye on your food while you wait for it to be tender enough to pull the meat apart like in this second picture:
Once you made sure the meat is tender enough, turn off the fire and put the gelatine leaves in some water for half an hour. Meanwhile, you can separate the meat from the bouillion and pull the meat apart using two forks. Be patient for this, it may take a while if you have 1 kg of meat like I did. Or just ask your partner to do it for you instead (thanks babe!).
Once done, put 120 grams of butter in a pan and add the 120 grams of flour once the butter is hot. Bake it for a few minutes until it's done and then you add the bouillion to the flour. Keep stirring until you have a smooth ragout as in the third picture shown above. Now add the meat and some salt (to your liking) to turn this in a nice goulash and then stir again. Add as much pepper as you like and 50 grams of tomato purée, now stir again.
Add as much salt and pepper as you wish after tasting the goulash. You can also add Tabasco if you want a more spicy goulash. Although it wasn't found in the recipe I followed, I added quite some lovage to this goulash and we both agreed this was a key ingredient.
The final steps: add the gelatine to the goulash, and of course, stir it all again. Now poor the goulash in two storage boxes and let it cool down before you place them in the fridge overnight.
Serving the goulash with puff pastry
The next day it was time to finally taste this delicious goulash. We decided to eat part of the goulash with puff pastry cups. This is something I remember from Holland as well and I feel kind of nostalgic eating it like this because it reminds me of many Sundays at my grandparents' house with the whole family eating goulash with puff pastry. In Holland, we always bought these puff pastry cups in the supermarket but I've never seen them here. Besides, why not make them myself as I have discovered the joy of baking things with puff pastry myself anyway? Homemade beats anything pre-packed from the supermarket, right?
This part is for entertainment purposes only, don't follow my instructions as the end result was a disaster.
I had no idea how to make a cup of puff pastry, so I decided to follow the crafting queen that's living inside me, she would probably figure out how to make one by using logic. I think the idea was pretty great, the outcome a little less great though. For this part, you will need 2 slices of puff pastry and a beaten egg only.
Just use a cookie cutter to make a nice bottom for the puff pastry cup, and then cut rectangles to build a tower as shown in the pictures.
Top it with some beaten egg and voila! At least, that's what I thought would happen. Turns out my construction wasn't well enough to hold the walls of the cups, and the moral of the story here is: "You can't build a tower with puff pastry!".
They were in the oven for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees. The looks were horrible, but let me tell you that it tasted delicious! One more time the end result including the goulash:
Tomorrow I will show you how to process the goulash into bitterballen and kroketten as this blog has turned out into a long blog without that part already.