21/04/2013

Beef Gulyás [Redux]

Beef Gulyás
You're seeing a theme here, right?

Yes, I'm re-doing all manner of old recipes ... just to see how they play through and what improvements can be made. I don't "do" recipes, but my rambling method still appears comprehensible ... just ...

With a bargain parcel of braising beef, £1.78 for something like a pound of meat I couldn't pass it up. Lovely cut, firm, striped with fat ... I could just see all that fat slow melting out and thickening up any stew.

What better than Gulyás? Goulash, Anglicised.

First, a little history ...

Goulash, or Gulyás, is a Hungarian meat stew seasoned with paprika.

Bográcsgulyás is a thick stew made by cattle herders and stockmen, the Bográc being the large metal cooking cauldron that the Gulyás is cooked in.

Favouring fattier cuts of meat where the collagen turns into gelatin while cooking, goulash is not thickened with any kind of roux.

Earlier in the day, I defrosted some beef stock I had in the freezer - this was the cooking juices from a piece of brisket.

Into an ovenproof dish, I added chopped onion, garlic, black pepper, coriander, paprika, lots of paprika, some smoked paprika, smoked sea salt and the beef, chopped into inch square pieces. Yes, all raw, no pre-cooking, no sealing ... all the flavour wants to permeate into the meat as it slowly cooks through the day.

Pour over the stock until the whole stew is covered.

Lid on and into the over set to 125C for a few hours. I say a few hours, I think I had four or five hours before taking the lid off and raising the heat, adding in a couple of final ingredients for the last hour of cooking and reducing.

For that last hour, temperature raised to 175C, I added some chopped green pepper (capsicum) and a good squirt of tomato purée.

After that final hour, serve out ...

Rather than serving over greens, I mounded some vegetables into the middle: carrots and sautéed potatoes. Garnish with parsley.

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