Hungarian Goulash Soup

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Steve Kroll

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Although I believe the recipe has its origins in Hungary, this version was passed along to me by my great aunt, who was Czech. I’ve made a few modifications over the years, mostly driven by the increasing availability of what were once hard-to-find ingredients. I usually use pork to make it, but you can really use any combination of stew meat and vegetables. This is also one of those dishes that benefits from making up ahead and allowing to sit overnight in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork loin or shoulder, or beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 or 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 slices thick bacon, cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (or one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • ½ head cabbage, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 tsp caraway seed, toasted and ground
  • 3 tbsp good quality paprika (I use 1 tbsp Hungarian Sweet for flavor, 1 tbsp Hungarian Half Sharp for heat, and 1 tbsp Smoked Spanish for smokiness)
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp salt, or to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Sour cream for serving

Method
  1. Mix meat cubes with 2 tsp salt and minced garlic. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, and up to four hours.
  2. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is browned and fat is rendered. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set to the side, leaving the fat behind in the pot. If there is less than 3 tablespoons of fat remaining, add enough butter to make up the difference.
  3. Increase heat to medium high, brown the meat in batches, ensuring that it’s not overly crowded in the pan. As each batch is finished browning, remove and set aside.
  4. After the meat is all browned, add the onions to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the white wine to deglaze the pot, stirring to release the browned bits. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol.
  5. Return the meat and bacon to the pot. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, cabbage, ground caraway seed, paprika, marjoram, and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot, turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 45-60, or until meat is fork tender.
  7. Add the vinegar and cook for another couple minutes.
  8. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.

img_1445269_0_7aad35c4ce391e0e95fe84c836dcd26e.jpg
 

taxlady

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Copied and pasted. You mentioned that the original recipe used sauerkraut and not cabbage. How much kraut would that be?
 

Aunt Bea

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Thanks Steve!

I think I will make a small pot of this when I come out of my self induced turkey coma early next week! :ermm::ohmy::LOL:
 

Steve Kroll

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Copied and pasted. You mentioned that the original recipe used sauerkraut and not cabbage. How much kraut would that be?
According to my aunt's recipe, it was "1 can". She doesn't mention the size of the can, but I assume it would've been something around 16 oz.

I've always made my own sauerkraut, so I never buy the canned stuff. Instead, I would use about 2 cups of homemade - including the juice (that's the best part!).
 

Steve Kroll

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That sounds like "home" to me Steve. Thanks for the nice recipe. I'll be doing it with a can of Kraut, I assume she didn't add the vinegar to the recipe?

You're right, K! I should have mentioned that. I started adding the vinegar at the end because I felt it was missing some of the tang from the kraut.
 

Andy M.

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I really like the sound of this soup. However SO dislikes sauerkraut (I love it) and I dislike cabbage. She's OK with that.


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Kayelle

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As Steve mentioned at the onset, this recipe can adapt well to lots of veggies apart from cabbage. Just sayin'..the idea is the basic..potato, carrot, whatever hits your fancy.
 

Andy M.

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Good point. I should be able to come up with something we can both enjoy.


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Kayelle

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Steve, I made this for dinner tonight and the flavors were spot on. I did a half recipe with cut up tri tip beef and added some red bell pepper, but other than that it was done as you wrote it. Excellent!! The SousChef had his with garlic cheese toast so both of us were happy.
Congrats on a great recipe. I'm submitting this one to the favorites recipes also.
 

Steve Kroll

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Steve, I made this for dinner tonight and the flavors were spot on. I did a half recipe with cut up tri tip beef and added some red bell pepper, but other than that it was done as you wrote it. Excellent!! The SousChef had his with garlic cheese toast so both of us were happy.
Congrats on a great recipe. I'm submitting this one to the favorites recipes also.

Thanks Kayelle! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. This is one of my favorite recipes. :chef:
 

tenspeed

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Thanks for posting this, Steve. I made a batch yesterday - really good stuff! I didn't have any Hungarian paprika, so I used regular paprika, smoked paprika, and a bit of cayenne to give it some heat. No mortar and pestle, so I chopped the toasted caraway seeds. I could definitely taste the caraway seeds, but not as much if I ground them. I should put a mortar and pestle on the shopping list, as I should have one anyway.

There is a market specializing in Eastern European foods that's on one of my regular riding routes. I'll have to make it a point to pick up some paprika next time I ride by.

Don't skip the sour cream - it really makes a difference!
 

RPCookin

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Thanks for posting this, Steve. I made a batch yesterday - really good stuff! I didn't have any Hungarian paprika, so I used regular paprika, smoked paprika, and a bit of cayenne to give it some heat. No mortar and pestle, so I chopped the toasted caraway seeds. I could definitely taste the caraway seeds, but not as much if I ground them. I should put a mortar and pestle on the shopping list, as I should have one anyway.

There is a market specializing in Eastern European foods that's on one of my regular riding routes. I'll have to make it a point to pick up some paprika next time I ride by.

Don't skip the sour cream - it really makes a difference!

I just used the small coffee grinder that I bought for grinding spice seeds. I use it a lot for grinding toasted cumin seed, and for coriander seed too. I only had 2 kinds of paprika, Hungarian sweet and hot smoked Spanish, so I went half and half. I did skip the sour cream, but it was still fantastic.
 

Andy M.

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Steve, I may have missed something. You make this with cabbage instead of kraut but add vinegar at the end to replace the tang of the kraut that you miss. Is there a reason to use cabbage in place of the kraut?
 
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