Hungarian goulash (gulyás in Hungarian) is the pride and joy of the Magyar, the Hungarian people, who rightfully proclaim this dish to be of world-class quality and savor.
Hungarian goulash is neither a soup nor a stew, it’s somewhere in between. Though in Hungary it’s considered to be a soup rather than a stew, so look for it among “Soups” on restaurant menus.
If cooked in the proper way, goulash has a nice and evenly thick consistency, very similar to a sauce.
While most people erroneously assume it is colored Crimson by tomato sauce, it is in fact tomato sauce and paprika, the glorious spice of Hungary that really stains it this brilliant red. In the U.S. you can buy great imported paprika from Hungary here.
Also, the key flavors are provided by fresh marjoram and A LOT of onions that are cooked into the sauce to provide sweetness and the true liquid essence of goulash.
I also prefer my goulash with small egg noodles called csipetke. The name comes from pinching small, fingernail-sized bits out of the dough (csipet = pinch) before adding them to the boiling soup. You can omit these if you prefer.
Potato also plays a key role in this recipe – Hungarians insist it must be made from a unique native variety that grows only in native Hungarian soil.
Perhaps – but my version is as authentic as it gets outside of Hungary. I shared it with a chef at Gundel (the finest traditional restaurant in Hungary) after a fabulous meal there.
He literally broke out in tears of joy that a non-Hungarian “understood” how to make it properly.
I think nothing else needs to be said. 😉
Battle on – The Generalissimo