Hungarian Goulash / Pörkölt

Hungarian goulash and pörkölt are both from the same family of dishes that have amongst their main ingredients meat (pork, 

beef or mutton are popular in different parts of the world), paprika, 

onions and bell peppers. They are world famous and originated hundreds of years ago in Hungary. I am lucky to have 2 friends that grew up in Budapest who love good food and inspired me to explore the Hungarian cuisine. 

This recipe was inspired by xXEnricoXx. The link to his German recipe is here

Preparation time: 45 minutes 
Cooking time: 150 minutes
Resting time: 6 hours
Total time needed: 9h15 minutes
Difficulty: normal

Ingredients for Hungarian Goulash (Beef)

·      500 g / 1.1 pounds fresh beef goulash or stewing beef)

·      1 large onion, chopped fine

·      5 cloves of garlic, chopped fine

·      1 tbs. chopped celery

·      1 handful dried Shiitake mushrooms, halved or quartered

·      120g / 4.2 oz tomato paste

·      1 heaped tsp. beef stock

·      ½ tsp. sweet mild paprika powder

·      ¼ tsp. hot paprika powder

·      70g / 2.46 oz sweet fresh peppers chopped into small cubes

·      A little ground black pepper

·      A little oregano

·      ¼ tsp. cumin/jeera powder or ½ tsp. ground cumin seeds

·      Salt to taste

·      Juice of half a small lemon

·     Pork fat or Sunflower oil

Hungarian Goulash / Pörkölt

  • 6 to 8 hours before you want to start cooking place the dried mushrooms in a glass jar, fill it to the top with water and close the lid. You don’t want to have any air left inside the jar so the mushrooms are completely covered by water. Turn the jar upside down after a few hours to make sure all mushrooms really soak in the water evenly. Just before you start cooking drain the water out of the jar and squeeze the mushrooms to get rid of some of the excess water. The mushrooms should all be softened up but still firm. Place them back in the jar and cover with a cloth.
  • Chop the meat into small bite sized cubes and give them into a frying pan with a non-sticky surface. 
  • Squeeze some lemon juice over the meat and cover with a lid.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and garlic to the pan mix them well with the meat and cover the pan again with the lid.
  • Let the meat rest in the pan for 60 to 75 minutes.
  • Turn the stove on to maximum heat, add 3 tbs. of sunflower- or another neutral frying oil to the pan and stir fry the meat mix for about 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and continue to fry for another 15 minutes
  • Now add ½ liter / 0.13 gallons of water, the chopped peppers, celery, mushrooms, heaped tsp. of stock and the cumin/jeera to the pan. Mix everything well. Cover the pan with a lid till the goulash is staring to boil again. Take of the lid and keep boiling all gently for another 45 minutes. Adjust the heat slightly if necessary to keep the mix just mildly boiling till the water is nearly completely gone.
  • Add another 500 ml of water, the tomato paste, mild and hot paprika powder the oregano, black pepper 
  • and ½ tsp. salt. Gently mix all ingredients, cover pan with a lid, turn the heat to low, just hot enough for the goulash to simmer. Let it simmer for another 30 minutes.

Variation options

  • Replace beef with pork or mutton goulash
  • Replace dried mushrooms with fresh button mushrooms if you are pressed for time.

Serve it hot with pasta or potatoes.

Serves 2

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