Thursday, 15 January 2015

Slovenian Goulash Blog-Fail

If you know me at all, you will know that Slovenia is my spiritual home. It is the most beautiful country with the most sincerely friendly people of any nation I've visited (more than once we've been invited to join people's picnics). Being a tiny country Slovenia is not well known for its food and being surrounded by four larger countries, it is no surprise that Slovenian cuisine is influenced by it's neighbours. Bordered to the East by Hungary, Slovenia has it's goulash game pretty much perfected. I found a good recipe online and decided to cook it for my parents.

All good recipes start with frying off bacon.

Fried bacon bits
mmmm bacon....

After putting the bacon to one side I browned some stewing steak in the same pan on a high heat before removing the beef and frying some diced onions, again in the same pan with all the lovely meatiness.

Frying beef steak

Sauteed onions

Next add a glass of red wine and reduce before adding a can of tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock, garlic, salt, a small pinch of cayenne pepper and a heaped tablespoon of sweet (sladka) paprika. We were lucky enough to visit Budapest last spring so we are well-stocked with all varieties of paprika! The recipe linked above doesn't call for it but I also added half a teaspoon of smoked paprika because I like the depth of flavour it adds.

red wine

sweet hungarian paprika

At this point, the hard part is over! Just leave it on as low a heat as possible for as long as you can - no less than an hour and a half.

To go with the goulash I served bread dumplings but I am yet to find a reliable recipe so I won't go into detail here, I just plopped them on top of the goulash for the last 25mins of cooking. I also served the chive cream sauce described in the same link. It's basically just 50:50 sour cream and blended cottage cheese mixed together with lots of chives - a perfect accompaniment to goulash.

Slovenian Goulash

And yes, I was so excited about serving and eating my goulash that I forgot to take a photo of the finished dish. I can assure you it looked brilliant (and if any of my friends are reading, I might be persuaded into recreating the goulash to get that final photograph).