Hungarian Kettle Goulash
Probably the most typical dish associated with Hungary is Goulash.
Goulash and Goulash Soup
An absolute classic of the Hungarian dishes is goulash soup - goulash soup and not simply goulash because what people perceive as goulash in Germany (and possibly other countries) is closer to the Hungarian pörkölt - a Hungarian meat stew that's basically the basis for goulash.
Goulash soup is a meat-and-vegetable soup which is especially common at bigger private or local events, because it's not overly complex to cook and very satisfying to eat.
Kettle goulash (bográcsgulyás)
The best form of goulash soup is, in my opinion, the kettle goulash - called bográcsgulyás in Hungarian. It's especially suitable for big group and prepared - as its name implies - in a big kettle above an open fire.
A lid is not necessary, but it can be advantageous.
- (sunflower) oil
- meat (beef or pork for goulash, chicken or turkey for paprikás, about the same amount as potato)
- paprika powder
- bay leafs (1-2 leafs on every 10 planned people)
- grounded caraway
- (fresh) garlic
- (fresh) parsley
- vegetable broth powder
- potato (4x as much as onion)
- celery (1/2 as much as onion)
- parsley root (1/2 as much as onion)
- carrot (1/2 as much as onion)
- tomato pulp or canned tomato (about as much as carrot)
- ribs (bones give more taste to the soup)
- white bread
- dumplings (should be prepared parallel as descriped on their packaging)
Preparation of kettle goulash takes about three hours, but the kettle doesn't need full attention all of the time.
Cut the meat and vegetables. Potatoes and meat into bite-sized pieces (meat can be bought in the right size), onions, garlic and parsley into tiny pieces, the rest into dice.
Heat oil and (if used) lard in the kettle. Add onions and stew them until they are translucent.
With constant stirring:
Put the celery pieces into the kettle, then mix the paprika powder in. Add the first half of the meat, put in a bit of water (not too much), then add the second half of the meat. Fill it up with water until the everything is covered.
If ribs are used, put them in now, add a little more water until you can't see the meat anymore and let this basis rest.
Turn every five minutes (approximately).
After 15-20 minutes add the bay leafs and the caraway. After another 15 minutes put the tomato in, stir them in and, if available, put the lid on it.
Stir every now and again.
After another 15 minutes, put about the same amount of salt and vegetable broth powder into the soup.
The goulash should be visibly boiling by now, that way it is stirring itself. The lid should stay on the kettle.
Further 15 minutes later a little more paprika powder should be added and after another 10-15 minutes the broth seasoned with salt. At this point, both the garlic, the parsley root and a little more water are put in, too.
After a 20-25 minute wait the pepper is added, 20 minutes later the carrot. The last step, after another 10-15 minutes, is adding the potato and the parsley, also a little more water should be put into the kettle (plus, if necessary, more spices).
The nearly finished goulash has to steep for another half hour to cook the potatoes, should then be seasoned one last time with spices and can finally be served with white bread and/or dumplings.