I've never had goulash before. In fact, I don't think I ever once thought about it. My roommate told me she loves goulash but she had only had a meat-filled version and I was willing to try and make her a cruelty-free version. So since I had no frame of reference, I like to think this turned out pretty well. It wasn't my favorite thing in the world but it was hearty, delicious and made everyone in this apartment full and happy.
(Photo courtesy of Saveur)
Here are my notes:
-- I think I only used one onion, two onions kind of seemed insane considering the size of the ones I can find at the grocery store.
-- Instead of beef, I used Gardein's Beefless Tips. I think this was my favorite part. I actually fried them in a shallow pan separately and just added them over the goulash when I was about to eat. Since we aren't using animal parts that need to be cooked down for a long time to release their fat and make them tender (ew), this really cuts down on the cooking time. Make sure to fry these nice and crispy because then they really stand up to the potatoes and other strong flavors.
-- Paprika is what makes goulash well.... goulash. I was so freaked out to use 1/4 c. of any spice but it works, trust me. It imparts a spicy intense flavor that is not too overwhelming. Make sure to get Hungarian paprika too, I think it really makes the difference. Often times you can just find it at your grocery store and it's not crazy expensive, so go for it!
-- As for an Italian frying pepper, I used a Cubanelle. I think you can use whatever mild pepper you can find at your local store.
I served this goulash over a heaping pile of pasta but I've seen it being served over rice or mashed potatoes as well. Since there were already potatoes in it, I figured pasta would be a good addition. I really enjoyed this dish and probably will make it again (mostly because I have a bag of Hungarian paprika to use, ha). I have no idea if this authentic in any way but it sure was delicious. A lovely vegan friend of mine has a recipe for a Goulash with mushrooms instead of a beef substitute. I look forward to trying that as well, check out the link.
So, blogging in 2012 is feeling pretty good. I can't wait to continue reviewing awesome recipes for you all and I swear the giveaway will be coming up soon!