Goulash (spelt Gulasch in German), a spicy beef stew, is one of the Austrian staple dishes, which you can get pretty much everywhere. Like the Brits enjoy a hot curry when they've had too much to drink at a party, Austrians resort to goulash, which is often served at parties around midnight or in the early morning. Goulash originated in Hungary, where the dish is called pörkölt (the similar-sounding gulyas is a soup rather than a stew). A defining quality of Austrian goulash is that you take the same amount of onions as of meat.
- 500g beef for stew (called "goulash meat" hereabouts), cut in cubes
- 500g onions, chopped into biggish pieces
- 80g fat
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 rablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway seed
- some marjoram, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 10g flour
Heat the fat in a large pot and roast the onions until golden. Add the paprika and immediately pour in the vinegar and 4 tablespoons water. Add the beef cubes, salt, ground caraway seeds, marjoram and squeeze in the garlic with a garlic press. Let simmer for 2-3 hours, adding water from time to time, until the meat is tender. There should be little to no water left by then.
Add the flour, stir carefully, then add enough water so that you get a slightly creamy, but not thick sauce. Let simmer until the meat is well done.
Take care that the meat does not become too soft and that the sauce doesn't burn. Add some more paprika to get a nicer colour and to make it a bit spicier.
Usually, goulash is not served fresh out of the pot, but pre-cooked and kept warm or reheated for the meal. It is usually served with no special side dish, just a bread roll, although boiled potatoes are acceptable.