Hungarian Sauce

  • This sauce has its origins in gulasza much loved Polish dish of Hungarian origin.
  • This is good served with pan fried meats or kotlety-mielone – Polish large meatballs.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 250-300ml of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée 
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 125ml of soured cream or thick yoghurt
  • Salt & pepper to taste 

Method

  • Chop the onion up into small pieces.
  • Cook gently in the butter – do not brown.
  • Cook until the onions are soft.
  • Mix together the stock, tomato purée, paprika and sugar.
  • Add the flour to the onions and cook gently whilst stirring.
  • Slowly add the stock mixture, stirring all the time.
  • Cook till the sauce is thick and uniform.
  • Add extra stock if it is too thick.
  • Stir in the lemon juice.
  • Season to taste.
  • Stir in the soured cream or yoghurt.
  • Mix well and serve.

Gulasz

  • The word gulasz comes from the Hungarian gulyás and is the word for a casserole or stew.
  • In Hungary the meat would most likely have been beef but in Poland it is either pork or beef.
  • When beef is used it is usually called węgierski  – Hungarian style.
  • As stewing steak used to be more readily available in England than casserole pork my mother made this with beef.
  • I make this with either beef or pork, both are delicious as the slow cooking and tomato purée give an intense rich flavour.

Classic Gulasz

Ingredients

  • 500g stewing beef or shoulder or spare rib pork
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 250ml chicken stock – can be made from stock cubes
  • 2 teaspoons of (sweet) paprika (not smoked)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • oil for frying

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 3 – 1600C
  • Roughly chop the onions and crush the garlic.
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Mix the tomato purée and the paprika into the stock.

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Cut the meat into cubes and coat the pieces in a mixture of flour, salt and ground pepper.

Beef Coated in Plain Flour, salt & pepper
Beef Coated in Plain Flour, salt & pepper

In a frying pan heat the oil until it is hot and fry the meat until all the sides are sealed.

  • Place the meat into a casserole dish.
  • Fry the garlic and onions in the frying pan, adding some oil if necessary but trying not to use too much or the dish will be greasy.

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  • Add the onions to the meat then add the bay leaf and some more ground pepper.
  • Pour the stock mixture into the casserole dish and put on the lid.

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Cook in the oven until the meat is tender, this could be about 3 ½ hours  to  4 ½ hours but often I find it needs  longer.

Classic Beef Gulasz

Serve with potatoes, hefty style pasta or boiled rice as well as salads such as:

If served on top of a large, breakfast plate sized potato pancake this is known as a

węgierski placek  – Hungarian pancake.

Tip

  • Make this a day ahead of when you need it, cook the dish for at least 3 hours and leave it to cool.
  • The next day cook it again for at least 1 hour, you might have to add a little water or stock but not too much, the sauce should be thick not watery.

Using a slow cooker

  • Nowadays I often make gulasz using a slow cooker instead of the oven.
  • I made a gulasz using pork shoulder and cooked it in the slow cooker for 8 hours.

Pork gulasz served in a dish by J & G Meakin Studio Pottery

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Luxury Style Gulasz 

All houses in Poland have cellars and even people living in block of flats have a cellar area of their own; if you ever get the chance to look in these you will find that they are filled with: jams, preserves, bottled fruit and vegetables, sauerkraut and salted gherkins.

Bottled sweet red peppers in brine are often found amongst these jars.  The addition of the peppers from one of these jars to the gulasz makes it even better.

Of course if like me you do not have the home-made variety you can buy these from most delicatessens or supermarkets now.

One Of My Two Cellars

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You can use fresh red peppers and I use these when they are plentiful, either will make a delicious gulasz but I think I like ones with the bottled peppers best.

The recipe is a variation on the classic gulasz but you have to use less stock or you will end up with it being too watery due the water content of the peppers – especially the fresh ones.

Ingredients

  • 500g stewing beef  or shoulder or spare rib pork
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 150ml chicken stock – can be made from stock cubes
  • 2 teaspoons of (sweet) paprika (not smoked)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Jar of bottled red peppers or 3 to 4 fresh red peppers
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of soured cream
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • Salt & ground black pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • Paprika to dust on the top

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 3 – 1600C
  • Roughly chop the onions and crush the garlic
  • Mix the tomato purée and the paprika in the stock
  • If using the bottled peppers cut them into long strips and then cut these into halves

  • If using the fresh peppers, cut them into long strips, de-seed them and cut these into halves
  • Cut the meat into cubes and coat the pieces in a mixture of flour, salt and ground pepper
  • In a frying pan heat the oil until it is hot and fry the meat until all the sides are sealed
  • Place the meat into a casserole dish
  • Fry the garlic and onions in the frying pan, adding some oil if necessary but trying not to use too much or the dish will be greasy
  • Add the onions to the meat then add the bay leaf and some more ground pepper
  • Add the peppers to the dish and mix the contents together

Pour the stock mixture into the casserole dish and put on the lid

Cook in the oven until the meat is tender, this could be about 3 ½ to 4 hours but often I find it needs longer.

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When you are ready to serve the gulasz, mix in one to two tablespoons of soured cream and then put the other tablespoon of soured cream on top in the centre and dust some extra paprika on this.

Serve as for the classic style gulasz.

Here served in a dish by J & G Meakin – Topic from 1967