Easy Gulash Recipes For Fans Of Viennese Cuisine
The classic Gulash is a tasty beef stew of Hungarian origin. It is one of the greatest imports to Viennese cuisine. Before I share my favourite Gulash recipe with you, here is a starter.
Gulash derives its taste from red sweet pepper, sour cream, onions, cumin and marjoram. The hearty red coloured stew is referred to asPörköltorPaprikásin Hungary. The contemporary Hungarian form is a more liquid, soup-like stew, which we Austrians in turn call Gulaschsuppe.
Gulash crosses social and cultural levels in Austria: Originally it was the food of poor people. You can find it in traditional Austrian and Viennese taverns such asZu den Drei HackenorSilberwirt, in manyVienna coffeehouses, and in refined restaurants. At many of the most elegantVienna balls, the hearty stew is served at midnight to fuel ball dancers with energy. For the same reasons, it is equally popular at Austrian ski resorts.
In Austria, theGulashis most popular in Vienna, and the Austrian regions bordering with Hungary: Lower Austria and the Burgenland.
Where Does Gulash Come From?
The stew has its origins with theHungarian shepherdsand later symbolisedHungarian cultureand sovereignty in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the start of the 19th century, the Hungarian Infantry was established in Vienna and created the Austrian variation ofPörkölt: Gulash.
In theFirst and Second World Wars, the stew was a popular meal with the military, as it was easy to prepare, could also be cooked with meat of lesser quality, and provided high energy to the troops, especially when combined with pulses. The mobile kitchen trailer used by the military, invented in Germany at the end of the 19th century, was soon calledGulaschkanone.
How To Prepare Gulash
What makes a good gulash is theright type of meatand the right consistency of the gravy.
Beef: foreshank, heel of shoulder, shank without bone, or silverside heel. The shanks are aromatic and rich in sinews which turn into gelatine when the meat is gently simmered. The gelatine binds the gravy and reduces the need to add flour. However, this kind of meat will require 1.5 to 2 hours of simmering to get tender. Alternatively you can take
Pork: neck, shoulder, foreshank, leg, hip, cheek. The pork takes much less time to cook.
for four to five people
1 kg shank (beef of pork) or other types as mentioned above
1 kg onions
100 gr lard
1 tble spoon of ground sweet pepper (Rosenpaprika)
250 ml water
30 gr salt
2 fingers of garlic (crushed)
1 tble spoon of caraway seed (crushed)
1 tble spoon of marjoram
3 tble spoons of tomato puree
1 tble spoon of flour
- Soak wholeonionswith outer layer in water for 20 min. Then peel and chop into fine pieces.
- Heat the lard in a pan and slowly fry the onions.
- Cut themeatin slices, then in cubes. You can remove some or all of the sinews if you prefer.
- Add thetomato pureeand the groundsweet pepperto the onions, and fry a little with the onions.
- Add some of thewater, then add themarjoram, caraway seedand the meat. Cover the pan with a lid and let the gulash simmer on low heat.
- Finely chop thegarlicand salt it.
- Add more water if required, and sprinkle in the flour.
- Add garlic.
- Let the stewsimmeruntil the meat is tender. Pork should take no more than one hour. Beef, as mentioned above, can take up to two hours.
The classic beef gulash can be modified by adding different sides. Each of these dishes have their own name:
Wiener Saftgulasch: with bread roll
Eszterhazygulasch: with root vegetables and potatoes
Fiakergulasch, also calledHerrengulasch: with Vienna sausage, a pickled gherkin and fried egg
Karlsbader Gulasch: with flour and egg balls (Eiernockerl)
Bauerngulasch: with bread dumplings (Knödel)
Instead of beef and pork usepotatoes, beans, chanterelles to prepare a vegetarian Gulash. The original method of preparation and spices largely remain the same. The modern Viennese cuisine also knows apumpkinvariation (Café Drechsler, for example, used to serve a lovely one!).
Here is my favourite recipe for potato gulash.
for four to five people
1 kg potatoes
3 vegetarian sausages
500 g onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp marjoram
2 tbsp sweet red pepper (paprika)
5 tbsp flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 l bouillon
1 tsp bouillon powder
half a bunch of fresh parsley, or a handful of capers
- Chop onions in generous cubes and fry them in a little vegetable oil until golden brown. Add 1/8 l of bouillon, spices, stir well and add the remaining bouillon.
- Cut potatoes in 1.5 x 1.5 cm cubes. Add them to the soup until almost soft.
- Cut sausages lengthwise, then slice them. Add them to the soup and potatoes.
- Mix flour with a little water and add to the gulash. Bring to the boil, stir well.
- Serve the potato gulash with freshly chopped parsley or capers.
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