Today I am coming back to you with one of my most favourite, comforting winter recipes. And I don’t say “favourite” for the sake of making this recipe sound more appealing to you but I truly mean it when I say that it is one of my most favourite foods in the world! It is winter stew perfection with a combination of flavours so delicious, so satisfying that you will want to make it again and again!
Szegedin Goulash is a stew that originates from the town of Szeged in Hungary. Originally pork meat is used but turkey meat makes an excellent alternative to pork and creates a dish that is much lighter. I also don’t add sour cream at the end of the cooking because I prefer to keep this recipe Paleo. If you do eat dairy, then, by all means, serve it with sour cream! For those of you who do not eat dairy but want to experience a more authentic flavour, I recommend that you substitute the regular sour cream with cashew sour cream. The flavour of this dish without sour cream doesn’t suffer one bit though! If you keep the basic rules of making goulash you are guaranteed to produce an excellent dish. These rules are:
1) the ratio of onions to meat used should be at least 1:2 (some goulash connoisseurs recommend a ratio of 1:1!)
2) you should use good quality Hungarian smoked sweet paprika for this recipe. The Hungarian paprika is what makes goulash goulash!
3) Caraway seeds are another essential ingredient in goulash making, they enrich the flavour of the meat while lending a distinct freshness to it.
4) German-style sauerkraut is also a very important part of this dish. Try to find one that is sold in a pack or a jar. The real German-style sauerkraut contains only cabbage, salt and sometimes caraway seeds.
5) Serve the goulash with some sliced red onions on top. It really adds to the real goulash experience!
So, let’s get to the cooking!
1) First – the meat. I use about 800 grams of turkey thigh meat. You need to give the meat a rinse under cold water and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Next, you need to remove the meat from the bone, remove the skin and cut the meat into 2-cm/1-inch chunks. Set aside.
2) Take 3 medium onions, peel the skin off and cut them into half rings.
3) Take a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and put the pot on medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions start to caramelise. Personally, I think that the magic of good goulash is in the caramelised onions, so don’t skip this step.
4) Add the meat to the pot and give it a mix. Add 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds (yes, that is tablespoons!) and 2 bay leaves and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
5) Add 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika and stir. Cook for 1 minute but not longer, other the paprika will burn and taste bitter. After 1 minute of frying, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (not canned tomatoes and not fresh tomatoes, the recipe is best when you use tomato paste) and 1 cup of water.
6) Add 1 teaspoon of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper. Cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for 50 minutes, until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork.
7) If the sauerkraut is really sour, you can place it in a colander and give it a wash with cold water. Squeeze as much water out of the sauerkraut as possible. Some people prefer to give the sauerkraut a chop but I really like the longer pieces of cabbage in my goulash so I skip this step.
8) Grate 2 large cloves of garlic. When the meat is tender add the sauerkraut and the grated garlic to the stew and stir. Continue cooking on low heat, lid removed, for 5 more minutes, then turn the heat off.
9) If you want to add the sour cream, I would recommend adding it at this point, as adding it during cooking may cause the sour cream to curdle. Alternatively, you can just serve the goulash with a dollop of sour cream on top.
10) Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve with dumplings or sourdough bread (if you have no dietary limitations) or with baked potatoes for a Paleo, Whole 30 approved meal! And do not forget the sliced onions on top!
- - 800 grams of turkey meat (thigh or a mix of thigh + breast), washed and cut into 2-cm/1-inch chunks
- - 3 medium-sized white or red onions (about 3 cups), sliced into half rings
- - 2 large cloves of garlic, grated
- - 400 grams/14 oz/2 cups of sauerkraut, drained
- - 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds
- - 1 tablespoon of Hungarian smoked red paprika
- - 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- - 2 bay leaves
- - 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- - salt and pepper to taste
- - 1 cup of cold, filtered water
- 1) Heat a large pot on medium heat. Add the olive oil and the sliced onions. Cook the onions for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until caramelised.
- 2) Add the turkey meat, the bay leaves and the caraway seeds. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- 3) Add the smoked paprika and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring. Do not cook for longer as the paprika might burn!
- 4) Add the water and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir.
- 5) Add 1 teaspoon of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper.
- 6) Cover, turn the heat to low and cook for 50 minutes, until the meat is tender.
- 7) Remove the sauerkraut from the pack and squeeze as much liquid from it as possible.
- 8) Grate 2 large cloves of garlic.
- 9) When the meat is cooked through and soft, add the sauerkraut and the grated garlic, remove the lid and cook, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.
- 10) Serve with some sliced red onions on top with a side of baked potatoes.