Goulash is probably the most famous Hungarian dish. Paprika is an essential ingredient but it was not used in Hungary until the 1820s according to Alan Davidson in the The Oxford Companion to Food. ‘It practically eliminated black pepper and ginger from the average Hungarian kitchen’. It’s usually made with beef so feel free to substitute good round steak for pork shoulder.
Serves 6 (halves or doubles easily)
2 tablespoons olive oil
800g pork shoulder, cut into one inch cubes
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 medium onions
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved and green stem removed
1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely
1 stem of oregano, leaves only, chopped finely (or 2 sprigs of thyme)
2 large tomatoes, cut into small dice
300ml chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons sour cream to serve
1. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan. Lightly dust the pork in the plain flour.
2. Fry the pork over high heat in two batches until it is sealed and golden. Set aside on a plate. Add a spoon of water to the pan and scrape all the bits off the bottom.
3. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan. Add the onions and red pepper, turn the heat down to low and cook until the onions have softened but are still translucent. Stir from time to time. It will take about 10 minutes. Add the paprika and fry for a minute over gentle heat but no longer, you don’t want it to become bitter.
4. Return the pork to the pan with the garlic, chilli, oregano (or thyme), tomato and stock. Season with salt and black pepper and stir. Cover and cook over a low heat for up to an hour until the meat is soft, adding more stock or water if it dries out too much.
5. Serve the Hungarian goulash with plain boiled rice in a bowl with a swirl of sour cream.
Pork Goulash recipe tips
– Top up with more water or stock if you need to as the goulash is cooking.
– When the meat is cooked, if the sauce is not thick enough remove the lid and turn the heat up and boil the sauce.
– Leftover goulash can be turned into a soup by adding more water or stock to the sauce to thin it out when reheating.
– This dish reheats and freezes beautifully.
– If you make beef goulash, use either chicken or beef stock.