One of my Christmas presents last year from The Lovely Wife and the kids was a Le Creuset oval pot. Le Creuset is super expensive in this part of the world and for a long time, both TLW and I have gazed longingly at the Le Creuset displays in the shops.
I used the Le Creuset immediately on Christmas Day 2014 for a casserole and found that leaving meat to slow cook in the oven delivered super soft, tender and tasty meat. So when we were shopping for groceries, I saw some nice cuts of beef and I suggested that I would make Goulash.
"Will it be nice Dads" piped up my princess. "What exactly is goulash?"
I explained that Goulash was a meat stew, generally using beef or lamb in a tomato based sauce with loads of paprika for flavour. The kids had seen a shop in Publika, one of the nearby shopping centres, that served Goulash and they made a reference to that, asking if mine would be better.
"I really dont know coz we haven't tried their Goulash have we?"
The kids proceeded to 'interrogate' me further on when I had last made Goulash, was it nice, if I really knew how to make it, was it nice, why hadn't I made it for them before, was it nice....
I explained that I had made it before as a student and I thought it had turned out quite well. I also remarked that I had offered to make it a number of times before but since no one seemed interested, I always made something else. As to the oft asked question of whether it would be nice, I told them to try it and then make a decision.
And so it was agreed that we would have Goulash for dinner that night. The kids helped me out with Sarah chopping up the onions and garlic in the food processor. Mike helped to cut the capsicum and tomato while I cut the meat and the carrots.
Two large white onions - chopped
4 cloves garlic - chopped
4 bay leaves
1 Tbsp Corn Flour
600g beef - cubed
2 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 green capsicum
1 red capsicum
Preheat oven to 180C. Marinate the meat with a little salt and pepper and coat with corn flour. Set an oven proof pot or dutch oven on the stove top and sear the meat. Remove and set aside. In the same pot, cook the onion and garlic till soft. Add in the bay leaves and fresh tomatoes and mix well. Add in the paprika and cayenne pepper and cook for a little while then add in all the meat, carrots and capsicum. Cover the pot and place in the oven and allow to cook for at least 2 hours. Remove from oven and place on stove top and on a slow heat, mix the goulash, breaking up the carrots and capsicum into the mix so that it thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
This dish is amazingly simple to do as it basically sits in the oven for 2 hours and you are free to do what you want. The meat comes out amazingly soft and tender and the spices all seap into the meat. As the dish cooked in the oven the smell off goulash started to permeate the house and it smelled really good! The kids and TLW couldnt wait to taste the dish and they kept asking me if it was ready.
When dinner was finally served, the kids and TLW piled the goulash on to the rice and then asked if the sour cream was required. or optional. I told them that the sour cream is supposed to make it a little more creamy and also to take away the harshness of the paprika but it was up to them if they wanted to add it on or not. That's why I didnt add it to to the dish.
TLW and the kids absolutely loved it. This was the first time I had made this where the meat was so tender and succulent and practically melts in the mouth. We all ate way too much of the goulash with rice and my little princess proclaimed that she reckons this rates as one of her favourite foods that I make.
Ahh, the satisfaction of seeing your family enjoy your cooking is always better than enjoying the food yourself!