Global Table Adventures: Hungarian Gulyás Leves

Global Table Adventures: Hungarian Gulyás Leves

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Note: Authentic Hungarian Gulyás (pronounced GOO- yash) does not resemble the hot dish many Americans refer to as “Hungarian Goulash.” Gulyás is in fact the national soup of Hungary. A “gulyá” is a type of Hungarian cowboy, someone who makes his living herding cattle on the eastern plains of Hungary. Literally translated “Cowboy Soup,” the dish is traditionally cooked in large cauldrons over an open flame.

[one_half] – 2 large red onions, diced
– 1/4 cup cooking oil (traditionally lard)
– 3 heaping tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
– 1/2 small sweet red pepper, finely diced
– 1/3 cup iced celery root (substitution: 2-3 stalks finely-chopped celery, including leaves)
[/one_half]- 1.5 tsp marjoram
– 1 tsp oregano
– 4-5 bay leaves
– 2 pounds beef, cut into 1″ cubes (any cut your prefer)
– 10-12 peeled potatoes, cut into 1-2″ cubes
– 1 cup sliced carrots
– Dash of thyme
– Salt and pepper to taste

1. In the bottom of a large stock pot, heat the cooking oil on high and sauté onion until clear and glassy.
2. Add in the red pepper and tomato,turn the heat to low and stir well.
3. Quickly toss in paprika and continue stirring, being sure not to burn the paprika.
4. Add beef chunks and turn the heat up to medium, browning gently while continuously stirring.
5. Fill the pot with 2-3 quarts of water, adding celery, spices, salt and pepper.
6. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least an hour. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it becomes. (At this point, you can cool and put in the refrigerator to serve the next day.)
7. One half hour before you are ready to eat, bring the soup back up to boiling and add potatoes and carrots. The soup is ready when potatoes and carrots are tender.
8. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and serve with fresh, hot bread.