Friday, October 22, 2010


Yesterday was full of food - first, I made the Baked Oatmeal again, this time with steel cut oats.  Michael said he definitely favors the chewier, more substantial nature of the steel cut.  I like it very much too (and good thing, because there is a ton of it left over - I made too much), though I have to say there was something good to be said about the creamier texture of the rolled oats.  Also, this time, I think I didn't add enough flavor - it needed more fruit, more cinnamon, more maple syrup. I really want to try this with fresh banana slices baked in.  No big issue on the flavor, though - top with fruit, with more maple syrup, with yogurt, and it's back to awesome.

It's also a ridiculously filling start to the day, so why oh why did Michael and I feel the need to stop by the Chinese buffet other than that we do every time he's visiting out this way?  It's really a good buffet - the food is always fresh and well tended, and there is a large salad bar.  I tried to keep to the salad, but there were also a few fried tidbits on my plate.

So maybe NOT doing dinner would have made sense - but Deanna had asked for Gulaschsuppe, and it's one of my favorites too.

Back in the 70s and again in the 80s, I lived in Germany.... the first time with my parents, the second time with my ex-husband.  He is the one that got me hooked on Gulaschsuppe, because he was on the search for the Best Bowl of Gulaschsuppe Ever.  Pretty much, every restaurant there has it on the menu, and every version is different.  To me, it is essentially Germany's chili - and like American chili, each pot has individual characteristics, and everyone fervently swears that theirs is the RIGHT way to do it.

I developed this over several years of trying to make it, because after we left Germany, it was very hard to come by.  And I fervently swear that mine is the RIGHT way to do it.  Unless you'd like to add chopped bell peppers to it - which I don't, but there are variations with peppers and without potatoes.   The no-potato versions are just wrong.  Those potatoes soak up all the wonderful saucy goodness.

If you look carefully next to the bowl, you'll noticed a nice little crusty roll.... that's the second bit off my artisan bread dough, and it was every bit as easy as promised...  fluffy inside, crusty outside and just perfect for soaking up the broth without falling apart.  So in spite of all this being much more food that I normally eat in one day, I'm very happy!

A note on the beef - I pick what's at a good price.  You needn't choose the priciest cuts if you're going to give this time to simmer, as the wine will tenderize it.  So use what appeals to you, but do give it the time it takes to develop the flavors.

Also, a note on the wine - ever notice those little six packs of individual serving bottles of wine they sell in the grocery store and wonder who buys them? I do - for cooking.  One bottle is usually just about right to use in a meal when wine is called for, if you don't want to have to drink up the rest of an opened bottle.  Keep a six pack of red and a six pack of white on hand and you've got a jump start on some flavorful meals without wasting wine.  If you don't normally cook with alcohol, don't worry... this entirely cooks off.  It just provides some tenderizing and depth of flavor to the meat.  If you want to go really traditional, you can splash a bit more on top of the soup at serving.. that won't cook off, though.

Serves 4-6

2 T. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 lb beef, cubed into bite sized pieces
2/3 cup red wine
6 med thin skinned potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces
32 oz beef broth
3 bay leaves
2 T. caraway seeds
1 T. hot Hungarian paprika
2 T. sweet Hungarian paprika
1 small can tomato paste

Cook onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion is caramelized.  Scrape pot and add beef, browning well .. the crusty bits add to the flavor. (Don't burn.)  Scrape the pot again and add the wine, which will deglaze the pot - let it simmer on low until the wine has almost entirely evaporated.

Add broth, bay leaves, caraway seeds and paprikas, and let simmer for as long as you've got time for... I like to give it at least an hour, but less is fine. 

Add potato cubes and enough water to cover plus about 1 inch above, and bring to boil.  When potatoes are tender, add tomato paste, lower to a simmer and let cook for about another 1/2 hour. 

Serve with crusty rolls.

One final word on the paprika - this is NOT the stuff labeled paprika in the spice jars that you sprinkle on deviled eggs for coloring.   Hungarian paprika is readily available in grocery stores in tins and for best results you want both.  If you want less heat, lean harder on the sweet paprika than the hot.  The hot is really hot - in experimenting with this, I've made it mild enough to feed a toddler, and hot enough to peel paint.  We like ours hot but not deadly - adjust yours to your own preference.

(shared with Strut Your Stuff Blog PartyShow Off Your Stuff Blog Party, Flaunt It Friday, Follow Me/Follow U, Frugal Friday, and Susieqtpie's Recipes 2)


  1. New follower from Weekend blog hop!

  2. Hiya! Stopping in from the Follow Friday Blog Hop! Thanks for stopping in at my blog and linking up! Hope you come back this Friday! I'm now following your blog now, too!

    Come link this tasty recipe up in my RECIPE Tab 2 on my blog. It looks awesome. I've never made it. It looks real similar to Hungarian Goulash. tasty!!!


  3. It pretty much IS Hungarian Goulash, from a German perspective - the name means 'goulash soup'. Thanks for asking me to share it - I'll be happy to!