The Signature Recipe for Hungary - Goulash

Posted by: Donna Smith, Contributor on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
Tags: Europe, Food

The Christmas Market Cruise with Journeys for Women will be coming up later this year.  The ports-of-call on this cruise are amazing. I would like to share some thoughts on one of those ports……Budapest, Hungary.  Or should I say the national dish of Hungary, which is goulash. As a youngster, I thought goulash was a concoction where all your leftovers were thrown in a pot and cooked together for a not so tasty dish.  Fortunately, my childhood theory was completely incorrect.

Be prepared when in Budapest, and most other towns in Hungary, to see goulash on their menus.  I have one word of advice, order the goulash!  The first time I visited Budapest, I was served this national dish and enjoyed it so much that I ordered it every day (sometimes twice a day). Hungarian goulash is neither a soup or a stew, it falls somewhere in between, much like a sauce and is mostly eaten as a main dish.

This tasty dish was very popular among the herdsmen in Hungary.  It was prepared in a cast-iron kettle over an open fire in the fields where the herdsmen were working. The word “gulyas” (translation - goulash) means herdsman.

In the mid 1800’s, goulash began appearing on Hungarian menus as they started taking measures to protect their culture, language and national identity.

Authentic Hungarian goulash is a beef dish cooked with onions, paprika spices, tomatoes and green peppers.  However, I soon found that no two restaurants prepared it the same. The good news is, they all were delicious! Paprika is ground from locally grown sweet peppers. The different paprika varieties provide the distinctive flavor to the goulash.  Sometimes potatoes or noodles are added to the recipe. 

No matter where you eat goulash in Hungary, in someone’s home or a restaurant, each one will tell you their goulash is authentic!

I visited the blog Daring Gourmet where the author, Kimberly, created an amazing recipe for Goulash. I tried it and found it to be very similar to some of the goulash dishes I consumed in Hungary! Kimberly gave us permission to use her original photo as well as share her recipe, which can be found here.

In closing, if you're planning on joining us on the Christmas cruise, get in the mood a little early and test your culinary skills by making a pot of your own goulash!


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