Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gulyás Soup With Review

Hi guys!
I'm almost done with my web design project, I'll actually be turning it in soon and I believe after that my teacher will provide a host for me to launch up the site. Pretty exciting even though my page looks basic and boring in my opinion, there's a lot of things I'd change about it but I'm probably not allowed to. Anyways, as I mentioned before the theme was popular food throughout the past century. Easy stuff. I chose French onion soup, Hungarian Gulyás /Goulash (as Americans call it), and molten cakes. I had cook all 3 of these, take pictures, and write a review on it. I briefly mentioned the French onion soup in my previous post so I'll move on to the gulyás leves.

My (now) ex, as mentioned before, is Hungarian so I made sure I got a fairly authentic recipe. Us Americans like to put our own spin on things and ruin it instead so I wanted to make sure I had a Hungarian recipe of it but obviously in English. This soup turned out great and it's now my favorite soup, before that it was egg drop soup.

Okay onward with it. The recipe I used is provided below:

Goulash/Gulyás Ingredients (for 4 persons)

Recipe from Budapest-tourist
  • 600 g beef shin or shoulder, or any tender part of the beef cut into 2x2 cm cubes 
  • 2 tablespoons oil or lard 
  • 2 medium onions, chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1-2 celery leaves 
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 tbs. tomato paste 
  • 2 fresh green peppers
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seed
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • ground black pepper and salt according to taste
  • water 

For csipetke (Pinched noodles added to goulash or bean soup in Hungary. Csipetke comes from the word csípni, meaning pinch in English, referring to the way of making this noodle):

  • 1 small egg,
  • flour,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • cc. 1 teaspoon water


  1. Heat up the oil or lard in a pot and braise the chopped onions in it until they get a nice golden brown colour.
  2. Sprinkle the braised onions with paprika powder while stirring them to prevent the paprika from burning.
  3. Add the beef cubes and and sauté them till they turn white and get a bit of brownish colour as well.
  4. The meat will probably let out its own juice, let the beef-cubes simmer in it while adding the grated or crushed and chopped garlic (grated garlic has stronger flavour), the ground caraway seed, some salt and ground black pepper, the bay leaf, pour water enough to cover the content of the pan and let it simmer on low heat for a while.
  5. When the meat is half-cooked (approx. in 1,5 hour, but it can take longer depending on the type and quality of the beef) add the diced carrots, parsnip and the potatoes, the celery leaf and some more salt if necessary (vegetables tend to call for more salt). You'll probably have to add some more (2-3 cups) water too.
  6. When the vegetables and the meat are almost done add the tomato cubes and the sliced green peppers. Let it cook on low heat for another few minutes. You can remove the lid of the pan if you want the soup to thicken.
  7. Bring the soup to the boil and add the csipetke dough, it needs about 5 minutes to get cooked. 

How to make the csipetke: 

  • Beat up a small egg, add a pinch of salt and as much flour as you need to knead a stiff dough (you can add some water if necessary).
  • Flatten the dough between your palms (to about 1 cm thick) and pinch small, bean-sized pieces from it and add them to the boiling soup. They need about 5 minutes to get cooked. 
And I was nice enough to take some pictures while making it. :)

Looks good, doesn't it? I turned out really good in my opinion.

I had a lot of fun making this but it did take quite a bit of time. Thankfully, I cut down some of my work time by buying pre-cut cubes of meat for stew. I had thought of cooking the meat cubes first a bit before adding them into the broth but I was afraid they would dry out and not capture the soup flavor, so I followed the recipe exactly and I’m glad I did because the meat didn’t dry out at all. Making this did require something new of me, using caraway seeds. I had never used any sort of seeds in my cooking and had never even heard of these ones or had an idea of how they would taste. When I bought the seeds they weren’t ground up, there were whole, so I had to take some time to grind the seeds a bit which didn’t work out too well because they were a lot harder to crush than I expected. The rest of the cooking process was pretty straight forward though, it was a matter of letting everything simmer together.

My sister tried the dish and this was her opinion of it, "The caraway seeds were a nice touch to the soup, they gave it a spearminty flavor. The meat is chewy. The noodles were very good, they were perfectly made; they were firm and not too smooshy." My mum’s opinion was, “Love it – very tasty. Meat was flavorful and veggies added good flavor.” My dad’s opinion of it was, “Big hunks of stew meat spiced and seasoned well. Potatoes captured the seasoning and were tasty.” My opinion of it was simple that I loved it and plan on incorporating into my family’s dinner more often. I loved the taste of the broth and I really enjoyed how the meat and vegetables really captured the flavor as well. What I was really fond of, though, was the csipetke noodles. I love eggs noodles in the first place so being able to make them and add them to the soup was a perfect little addition. The potatoes could have cooked for a little longer since they weren’t as soft as they could’ve been, but they were good nonetheless.

And the finished product: