Saturday, January 14, 2012

Goulash and Csipetke

Goulash.  It sounds like some sort of torture food, doesn’t it?  I had my first experience with goulash when I was 5.  I was at my best friend’s house and her mom served it up for dinner.  I was a picky kid and wouldn’t eat it, but her mom forced me to have just one spoonful, which quickly turned into two bowlfuls.  It was delicious. 

Then later, I discovered something even better, Grandpa’s Goulash.  What I remember most about my Grandpa was his garden, he had this huge garden filled with corn and beans and all kinds of great vegetables, but most importantly, it was overrun with strawberry and raspberry bushes.  We would spend hours picking (and eating) the berries.  I thought that was the best thing about his house, until the day he made goulash.  It was nothing like what was served up at my friend’s house, but it was even better.  Grandpa’s been gone over 15 years now, but whenever goulash comes up, I think of him.  

So when I was reading Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blog the other day and came across a recipe for not just goulash, but venison goulash, I knew I had to make Lee make it for me.  He swapped out venison for chuck roast because oddly, we don’t have venison in the freezer right now. And we didn't have lard or sunflower oil, or caraway seed, or two kinds of paprika.  So go to their blog for the original recipe, Lee's adapted recipe is below.
Goulash and homemade noodles- WOW

Today was the perfect day for it, cold and iced over, we needed some comfort food. I was a little panicked when there were no rotini noodles to be seen, that had been the link between all other goulashes.  But this had something better. The recipe included Csipetke (chip-ET-keh).  Csipetke are a noodle/ dumpling that frankly, taste like pierogi dough to me- must be an Eastern European thing.

When everything- the goulash, the csipetke and the sour cream melded together, it’s a beautiful thing.  The hours of simmering causes the meat to be incredibly tender, just little chunks of beefy butter, the sauce is so smooth and the onions make it just the perfect amount of sweet. 

And no, it’s nothing like Grandpa’s goulash, my friend’s mom’s, or Hunter Angler Gardener Cook's, or anything I’ve ever tasted.  That’s the fun of goulash, everyone is different and invokes a different special memory.

Goulash and Csipetke

Serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp butter for frying
  1. Combine ingredients and knead until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough is really sticky, add more flour. You want a stiff, but pliable dough.
  2. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour at room temperature.
  3. To make the dumplings, pinch off dime-sized little bits of the dough and flip them onto a well-floured surface. This can be done up to several hours ahead.
  4. Just before serving, boil the csipetke dumplings for a few minutes in salty water, then drain and set aside.
  5. Fry in butter to finish.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 324  Calories from Fat 79
Total Fat 8.8g
Saturated Fat 3.9g
Cholesterol 196mg
Sodium 1253mg
Total Carbohydrates 48.0g
Dietary Fiber 1.7g
Sugars 0.5g
Protein 12.0g
Vitamin A 7%    •           Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 3%       •           Iron 21%

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into chunks
4-5 cups chopped onions
1/3 cup paprika
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water

  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or stewpot and brown the beef in batches. Salt the beef as it cooks. It will take 20 minutes or so for all the meat to brown. Remove the beef as it browns and set aside.
  2. Add all the onions and turn the heat to high. Sauté the onions, stirring often, until they are browned.
  3. Put the beef and all the other ingredients in the Dutch oven.  Mix well and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover and cook over low heat for 3-5 hours, or until the meat wants to fall apart.
  5. Use a potato masher to squash all the meat in the pot and mix well.  Add salt if needed.
  6. Serve the goulash alongside the dumplings with some sour cream at the table to mix in.

Serving Size 604 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 686  Calories from Fat 305
Total Fat 33.9g
Saturated Fat 9.8g
Cholesterol 229mg
Sodium 581mg
Total Carbohydrates 15.8g
Dietary Fiber 5.1g
Sugars 6.1g
Protein 77.7g
Vitamin A 89%  •           Vitamin C 24%
Calcium 7%       •           Iron 60%

What foods do you love that change with every serving?

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