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Székely Gulyás

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 November 2013 at 18:04
Székely Gulyás
"Transylvanian" Goulash

Székely Gulyás is a true rebel - it is quite interesting in that it breaks all of the traditional "gulyás rules." The dish generally uses pork - rather than the usual beef - sometimes it even uses a combination of meats! Further, it adds sauerkraut (unheard of!), and cream is added to the resulting sauce (scandalous!), making this dish a unique and intriguing exception to the normal gulyás methods that can be found elsewhere in Hungary and throughout Central and Eastern Europe. 

The dish's non-conformist character extends even further, to its nomenclature; the "Glittering Eye" blog reports: 

Quote [T]his "must be one of the most mis-named dishes in all of cuisine. The name, Székely gulyás, pronounced seh-key goo-yahsh (sort of) means “Gypsy goulash” in Hungarian. Only it probably isn’t a Gypsy recipe and it’s not a goulash. It’s technically a pork pörkölt with sauerkraut and sour cream.

http://theglitteringeye.com/?p=624 

Wikipedia in Hungary provides some insight on the origins of this dish; the translation is rather clunky, so I will attempt to transcribe and paraphrase it here (no plagiarism intended):

Quote Székely goulash and [Transylvanian layered] cabbage[, a related dish,] are special dishes of Hungarian cuisine. Contrary to its name, it is not derived from Gypsies and it does not seem to be known in traditional Transylvanian cuisine.

The origins of the recipe seem to lie with a József Székely (1825-1895), who was a Hungarian writer, journalist and activist; he was also a contemporary of one Sándor Petofi. Evidently, in 1846, the two men went to the Grenadier Street Hop-Garden Restaurant for lunch, but when they entered, the establishment was running out of food. Székely requested that the remaining sauerkraut stew and pork stew be mixed together and served. Later, during a subsequent visit, Petofi ordered the same improvised dish again, and referred to it as "Székely cabbage."

http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sz%C3%A9kelyguly%C3%A1s 

Wiki goes on to assert that the more it is re-heated, the better it will taste.

To add to the confusion, there's an anecdotal alternate origin for the dish that can be found by way of a few sources, suggesting that it is a specialty of Székelyföld, a region in Transylvania that is home to a sub-group of ethnic Hungarians known as the Székely, or “Seklers” - with this as their traditional dish. Maybe, maybe not ~ I do not claim to know. 

And as if this weren't enough, a very-slightly-modified-but-essentially-the-same version the dish is also very popular in Slovakia, where it is known by yet another name - Szegedinský guláš. The Slovak name seems to imply (to me, at least), that the origins might be thought to lie in Hungary's paprika mecca of Szeged; however, as far as I can tell, no real connection actually exists. Perhaps it is simply a case of confused or mistaken identity, with Szegedinský used in place of Székely; I do not know.

In any case, it is delicious, wholesome and wonderful stuff - I cannot stress that enough! It's also very easy, as well. There are many ways of preparing this dish, but all are very similar, with only minor differences. Essentially, pork (sometimes pre-seared, sometimes not) is added to caramelised onions along with paprika - then, sauerkraut is brought to the party and the mixture is simmered or slow-cooked (sometimes with added water or stock - or with tomatoes or peppers added) until the pork is tender. Finally, cream (sometimes a cream-and-flour roux) is added, and the dish is served. There's a little more to it than that, but those are the basics.

I had the good fortune to prepare this for the first time not long ago, and was absolutely impressed. The recipe came from the Hungarian chapter of my "Cooking of Vienna's Empire" volume of Time-Life's Foods of the World series. I made a couple of very slight modifications in the cooking method that I used to prepare it (explained below); the result was outstanding, and is highly recommended. Here's the recipe, as written:

Quote To serve 4 to 6:

1 pound sauerkraut, fresh, canned or packaged 
2 tablespoons lard 
1 cup finely-chopped onions 
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika 
3 cups chicken stock or water 
2 pounds boneless shoulder of pork, cut into 1-inch cubes 
1.5 teaspoons caraway seeds 
1/4 cup tomato puree 
Salt 
1/2 cup sour cream 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
2 tablespoons flour    
 
Wash the sauerkraut thoroughly under cold running water, then soak it in cold water for 10 to 20 minutes to reduce its sourness. Melt the lard in a 5-quart casserole and add the onions. Cook them over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are lightly colored, then add the garlic and cook a minute or 2 longer. Off the heat, stir in the paprika, continuing to stir until the onions are well coated. Pour in ½ cup of the stock or water and bring it to a boil, then add the pork cubes.

Now spread the sauerkraut over the pork and sprinkle it with the caraway seeds. In a small bowl, combine the tomato puree and the rest of the stock or water, and pour the mixture over the sauerkraut. Bring the liquid to a boil once more, then reduce the heat to its lowest point, cover the casserole tightly and simmer for 1 hour. Check every now and then to make sure the liquid has not cooked away. Add a little stock or water if it has; the sauerkraut should be moist.

When the pork is tender, combine the sour cream and heavy cream in a mixing bowl. Beat the flour into the cream with a wire whisk, then carefully stir this mixture into the casserole. Simmer for 10 minutes longer. Taste for seasoning. Serve "Transylvanian goulash" in deep individual plates, accompanied by a bowl of sour cream.

During my research, I encountered several recipes for this, all along the same lines with very minor differences; this particular recipe seems to be a bit "wetter" than some others, but no matter, as you shall see. It provides a wonderful, rich gravy-sauce that makes this an outstanding stew!

When I prepared this dish, I made a double batch, since we have a large household and I also wanted leftovers to last through the week; thus, the photos below will show what seems to be a LOT of food ~ trust me, it will not go to waste!

As always, I'll open with a shot of "the goods" that are needed to make this:


Nothing complicated or exotic here at all, just good, Old-World peasant food that is going to treat you like a king!

A note on the cream - my research indicated that there are a few options where this component of the recipe is concerned. In general, one can use sweet cream, and not rinse the sauerkraut - or one can use sour cream and rinse the sauerkraut; one can also employ any combination of sweet or sour cream, rinsing or not rinsing of sauerkraut that one prefers. In my case, I chose to use sour cream and rinse the sauerkraut. To do this, I emptied the jar of fermented cabbage into a strainer: 


I then rinsed it under cold water for a minute or two, and placed it in a large TupperWare bowl of cold water to soak for a while:


Meanwhile, I chopped the garlic (from the photo above, you can see that we used "a little extra") and gave the onions a good dicing:


Other than cutting the pork into cubes - which I did prior to taking the photos - my prep work was essentially completed:


Pork: Hungary is full of it; the farms, the villages, the towns and the cities are all major consumers of it. Hungarian hams, and especially Hungarian sausages, are world famous. Bacon, pork loin, smoked shoulder, head cheese, lard.... Internal organs are used to make a boudin-like specialty called hurka. A pork stew, called pörkölt , is one of the most widely-eaten dishes throughout the land. Tongues, ears and tails show up in many dishes. Hog-killing time is practically a national holiday - a tradition as old as time itself. In Hungary, the old saying holds true: everything is used except the squeal.... except, it is never used in gulyás ~ breakin' the rules!

With that, I gave the pork a moderate seasoning of salt and black pepper, then began searing the cubes in batches in my cast iron Dutch oven:


This step is not mentioned in the FotW recipe; it is mentioned in many others that I encountered when I did my research, but not all, so it seems to me to be an optional step. Since I wanted to benefit from the rendered lard and also from the flavour boost that comes from searing meat before cooking, it seemed like a good step to take. Having said that, it is not a necessary step, and you can do this or not as your time and preferences allow.

In my case, I was trying to get this into the oven to braise before I went deer hunting south of town; the afternoons go by quickly in northern Montana this time of year, so I ended up rushing this step a bit and the pork chunks probably could have been seared a little better than this:


Having said that, I'm glad I did it, because it added a real depth when it came time for the flavours of the dish to get together; but having said that, it could have been even a little better!

You might be thinking to yourself, he's using a non-enameled cast iron Dutch oven for a dish that contains sauerkraut? O! The humanity! The seasoning on his cast iron is going to come right off! Normally, I'd be inclined to worry about this, too - but keep in mind, I had rinsed and soaked the sauerkraut, and hence, it was an easy decision for me to make, as I like the searing qualities that my non-enameled Dutch oven provides.

Speaking of that, once all of my pork chunks were seared, I set them aside, poured off most of the rendered pork fat - leaving the beautiful, savory fond behind - and tossed in my onions:


For me, the aroma of onions slowly caramelising in sizzling pork fat will always what Hungarian food is about; it is a unique and enticing aroma that can only be achieved by using pork fat, and while I don't do it often for the obvious reasons, I do indeed use it now and then, when I want a true Hungarian experience. If you prefer, you can technically use butter, or even olive oil; but if you want to eat Hungarian, use the pork fat, whether it is rendered like that above, or store-bought lard... or even leftover bacon fat.

As the onions caramelised over medium to medium-low heat, picking up the fond and bits left over from the searing of the pork, the Hungarian essence really started to kick into over-drive: 


My reading indicates that Hungarian tradition admonishes one to cook the onions in pork fat - slowly - until they just start to brown - the moment before, if possible. Shortly after taking the photo above, I judged them to be at that point, so I stirred in the garlic for a minute or two. Then, I proceeded to shift from Hungarian over-drive... to Hungarian super-sonic: I removed the Dutch oven from the heat and then added my Hungarian paprika, stirring it into the onions as it melted into the fats and liquids to form the most beautiful, fragrant, brick-red mess you can imagine:


The removal of the cookware from the heat is an essential step in preparation; otherwise, the paprika is in danger of scorching, which will ruin the flavour of the dish and perhaps make it gritty. By allowing the quintessentially-Hungarian spice to gently meld into the onions and fat, a foundation is provided that will support the dish right through cooking and to the table....and then to your mouth, where you will find Nirvana.

Side note: One subtle, but primary difference between the Hungarian Székely gulyás and the Slovak Szegedinský guláš seems to be the amount of paprika used; the Slovak versions I've seen use much less. There might be a couple of other miniscule differences, such as adding a tomato element or stock/broth, but other than that, they seem to be the same dish, in spite of the completely different names. During my research, I found an excellent-looking "stove-top" style recipe for Szegedinský guláš on Lubos's Slovak cooking blog:

http://www.slovakcooking.com/2009/recipes/segedinsky-gulas/

I intend to give this recipe a try, so that I can juxtapose the two dishes for myself.

Back to the Hungarian Székely gulyás!

Ready to proceed, I poured in a cup of the chicken stock (remember, this is a double batch):


You can use water, but stock, in my opinion, adds yet another layer of wonderful flavour to the dish; the recipe calls for chicken stock, which I used, but if you have beef or (best of all) a combination of chicken and beef, you will not be disappointed.

Next, I added the seared pork back to the Dutch oven:


I then spread out the rinsed and drained sauerkraut over the pork, sprinkling the caraway seeds on top:


Sauerkraut: fermented cabbage, one of the most commonly-found preserved foods in all of Hungary. It can be found either in or alongside countless dishes in every corner of the country, and is beloved by all.... except, it is never used in gulyás ~ breakin' the rules!

While we're at it, let's talk for a moment about caraway seeds:

In my experience, a person either loves them or hates them; there is no middle ground. I am not the biggest fan in the world where caraway seeds are concerned, but I do like to add a modest amount to Hungarian and other dishes calling for them so that I can get a feel for the authentic experience of tasting and enjoying that dish. In this case, I added the amount called for in the recipe (doubled as per my preparation) - and it was a little much for my taste. I probably would have been better served if I would have halved the amount, but if one enjoys what caraway seeds bring to a dish, then please do use the full amount.

Moving along, I combined the rest of the stock with some tomato paste and added the resulting mixture to the Dutch oven:


This addition seemed, to me, to be reminiscent of another Transylvanian-style dish that I've made before, the infamous Paprika Hendl, made immortalised in Bram Stoker's Dracula:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/paprika-hendl_topic1001.html

There are a few other similarities that lead me to believe that there might indeed be characteristics specific to Transylvanian cuisine that make it regionally unique, even though it spent hundreds of years as part of the Hungarian Empire. Perhaps, Someday, I can take a look at this in more depth....

From this point, the recipe instructs us to simmer the covered gulyás on the stove-top; however, since I was literally on my way out the door to do some hunting, and since I love slow, oven-cooked stews in the Dutch oven, I tossed it in the oven at about 300 degrees to bubble and braise... and become melt-in-your-mouth tender. 

When I returned from my unsuccessful hunt a couple of hours later, I judged the pork to be fork-tender and proceeded to the final stage of the dish; I grabbed myself some sour cream:


Sour cream - yet another universal element of Hungarian cuisine. I cannot prove it, but I suspect that at least part of its popularity is descended from the usage of yoghurt that the invading Ottomans must have introduced as an integral part of their food habits. Perhaps it was an easy and readily-available alternative to yoghurt; perhaps I am completely wrong. In any case, it is found everywhere in Hungarian cooking, worked into sauces, stirred into vegetables, served as a condiment and used as a topping.... except, it is never used in gulyás ~ breakin' the rules!

I whisked the proscribed amount of flour into the sour cream: 


And proceeded to gently fold this mixture into the gulyás:


Doesn't that rich, red stew look wonderful??? Considering how easy it was to make, you really should give it a try! 

At this point, I should qualify my experience by saying that I may have made a mistake here; chances are that I probably should have allowed the gulyás to rest a bit and come down from the oven temperatures before adding the sour cream. As it was, it seemed to me that the sauce broke - or the sour cream curdled just a bit - not really affecting the wonderful flavour, but certainly changing the texture while taking a little bit from the appearance of the dish.

As I mentioned above, this recipe seems to result in a "wetter," more-saucy final product than others that I came across - all the better, in my opinion, for soaking up the nokedli that I made, following Rod's awesome and outstanding pictorial:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/rod-franklins-nokedli-pictorial_topic2809.html

Thanks to a rare occurrence of good timing, I already had a pot of water just coming to a boil on the stove, so I mixed the nokedli dough/batter according to Rod's easy instructions and dropped them into the water while the sour cream melted into the gulyásOnce the sour cream is gently incorporated into the sauce, one should continue to gently heat the gulyás at the barest of simmers for 10 minutes or so before serving.

Here we are, gulyás, nokedli and all:


Yes, it does taste as good as it looks! A little bit of green somewhere on the plate might have made for a better formal presentation, but for rustic home-dining with a famished family, this was good enough, and I barely had time to get a couple of photos before everyone dug in. 

Results, as I have been saying throughout this pictorial, were phenomenal - there aren't too many other words for it. Pork, onions, paprika, sauerkraut and cream might sound a bit unusual "on paper," but "in mouth" they are a true symphony of great tastes and savory deliciousness, with every indication of being one of those perfect dishes in which to wrap yourself on a cold, grey day. This photo is slightly washed out by the flash, but you get the idea:


I can't think of any real complaints with this, other than my aforementioned personal preference regarding the caraway seeds and my possible faux pas with the sour cream.  As mentioned above, I would cut the amount of caraway seeds in half for myself, but one who likes caraway seeds in their food should add the whole amount without worries. I would also recommend making sure that the gulyás comes down enough in temperature to safely add the sour cream. That aside, this was something that I really, really enjoyed, and can whole-heartedly recommend.


The family all enjoyed this dish as well, and were glad to see that there were a few leftovers for lunch during the upcoming week; unfortunately, I wouldn't be around to try those leftovers, because The Beautiful Mrs. Tas, our youngest son and I spent the week in Montana's state capital of Helena; but when we got home, I noticed that there was no trace of the leftover gulyás left in the refrigerator - all the more reason to make some more, and soon!

Thanks for looking, and as always, if you have any questions at all, please let me know. I have a feeling that if you try this rebellious Hungarian specialty, you will love it, no matter what you decide to call it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2013 at 19:06
Another outstanding effort! A tall bar to set for the rest of us.

You know this stuff is right up my alley. My Mom would make something very similar except she didn't use many tomatoes in things, but I think that's just sort of a regional thing. And it was more of a soup. I think the sauce idea and browning things is mostly a more modern adaptation based on the influence of French techniques.

Homestyle chicken paprikas on deck for the weekend here. I've been needing my paprika, sour cream, onion and dumpling fix.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2013 at 19:43
Thanks for the kind words, Rod - I can't tell you how good this was. it simply has to be experienced ~ 

And..... speaking of your fix, you could do a LOT worse than this, if you are looking for a way to enjoy onions, paprika, sour cream and dumplings!

Re-reading, I see a few minor grammatical things to clean up - and will do so later - but other than that, this recipe is good to go, and I am pretty sure you especially would fall in love with it. Leave the tomato element out, if you prefer; I believe that is the one other difference between this and the Slovak version....

Perhaps your Hungarian ancestors were Slovak??? Shocked
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2013 at 20:08
Ever try a new recipe and just know it was off before you cooked anything.

So it is with this dish. Ron and I have been discussing it, off list, for some time; particularly comparing various Hungarian, Slovak, and Transylvania versions.

The recipe I have comes from Paula Bennett and Velma Clark's book, The Art of Hungarian Cooking. I knew something was wrong right off, because it only calls for a teaspoonful of paprika. Ron suggested it might be Transylvanian in origin. But that didn't sound right, either. Most of the time, whereas Hungarian stews end in gulas, Transylvanian stews end in tokany. For instance, Borjutokany is a Transylvanian veal stew.

When I made their version of Szekely Gulyas it was tasty enough. But it lacked the rich color and depth of Ron's.

On a hunch I looked up the publishing history of the book. It was first published in 1954, in hard cover. My soft-cover version was put out in 1967.

My only conclusion is that they adapted the recipes to meet American tastes, and cut way back on the paprika. They just went overboard in this case. Even if it were a typo, and was supposed to be 1 tbls, that doesn't cut it. In a dish like this, 2 tablespoons would be about the minimum I'd go with.

Their version, btw, also calls for lean pork, which I thought strange. I used a piece of loin I had in the freezer. But that makes for a fairly expensive dish. And the lack of fat contributes to the lack of richness and depth as well.

Next time it'll be Ron's version.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2013 at 21:17
Ron, I don't really know from what part of Hungary proper we're from. My sister probably knows. The Hungarian Empire was/is a big place and Slovakia used to be/still is part of it. Still Hungarians, just with a different name.Tongue

Not much tomato use in my relations cooking. And all these types of dishes could only be called soup in my experience. Served in bowls and eaten with spoons.

Filled cabbage however, would always have tomatoes. That might have come from many years in Detroit and being influenced by a substantial Polish community there.

I've been served plenty of sauerkraut and rye bread, both with caraway seeds. I always thought that was German.

Sweat some onions in some pork fat, add paprika, then water and meat and boil awhile. Add some sour cream and dumplings and what do you have? The basis of this dish and hendl and chicken paprikas and who knows what others. But know for certain it's of the Hungarian Empire.

This dish certainly looks like something to try and I will. I've got chicken on deck for this weekend though and I have to admit chicken paprikas is my Hungarian comfort food, so I'm going there. I've got some hulka in the freezer too.

It makes me real happy that you've found the dumplings a 'go to' recipe at your house. Now if I could get you to try making home style chicken paprikas...Wink Maybe we could work something out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2013 at 20:27
Brook - I do appreciate the vote of confidence - this recipe was indeed delicious, and very homey, as well. The version you made seems (if I remember the recipe correctly) a little closer to the Szegedinský guláš that seems to be popular in Slovakia - maybe they really are separate dishes, but I suspect it is more likely that they are the same dish with regional and seasonal differences....

Rod - I thought I tried the homestyle? I remember it being good and soupy. Possibly a little thicker than your preference, but otherwise the same? I'll go read through, and take a second look....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2013 at 23:02
I'm looking at this recipe, and I'm thinking this is more like a Paprikash. I'm not familiar with doing any sort of gulash and adding sour cream.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2013 at 06:40
What are the differences between a gulyas and a paprikas, Darko?

While I'm certainly not an authority, my impression had always been that a paprikas was a subcategory; that gulyas referred to any stew. Thus, a beef paprikas would be a gulyas, but not all beef goulashes are necessarily paprikases.

That aside, virtually all the variation of Szekely identify it as a gulyas.

So, time for a little research:

In the Bennett & Clark book, there's a generic recipe merely identified as Gulyas, attributed to a Mrs Wiley Pogany, a noted Hungarian hostess of the time. It does not, as you indicate, use sour cream.

The usually helpful "International Cuisine" isn't, in this case. It defines Goulash as "A type of beef stew from Hungary that always contains paprika." And the only gulyas recipe it contains is for Szegediner Gulasch, which does use sour cream. But it's merely the Austrian version of the Szekely.

Time/Life's "The Cooking of Vienna's Empire" supports your contention. It says, "Classic gulyas, authorities insist, is never made of mutton or pork, and its gravy is almost never finished with sour cream." However, it points out that the same authorities agree the one exception is szekely gulyas, which uses a combination of meats or pork alone, and to which sour cream is added.

I'm wondering now if the Bennett & Clark recipe isn't nearer the mark and its piddling teaspoon of paprika was added just because "this is a Hungarian dish, so has to have paprika, by Gawd!"

Be that as it may, I'm convinced, at this point, that you are correct. In general, gulyas does not contain sour cream and is almost always made strictly with beef.

An interesting side-light emerged from my reading. Although Ron's introductory post calls this a Transylvanian stew, that's probably incorrect. It seems that there are three hallmarks of Transylvanian origination: the shape the meat is cut, the use of black pepper rather than paprika, and the nomenclature. Transylvanian stews end with "tokany", rather than with the flatlander "gulyas."

Amazing the trivia one can pick up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2013 at 06:45
Originally posted by AK1 AK1 wrote:

I'm looking at this recipe, and I'm thinking this is more like a Paprikash. I'm not familiar with doing any sort of gulash and adding sour cream.

That's the point, Darko ~ it's breakin' da rules! Evil Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2013 at 15:46
Hey, as long as it tastes good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2013 at 16:14
I can attest that it does---whatever we call it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2014 at 20:33
OK, I think I finally have this figured out... sort of.  This is probably a North American view more than anything. But Gulyas is beef and no sour cream. Papprikas can be chicken or pork and has sour cream, and more paprika so that it is the dominant flavour. Not necessarily overpowering, but dominating.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote africanmeat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2014 at 06:42
Man it looks good  if next week will be cold i will do this dish .with mash .
thanks  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2014 at 11:57
Darko - during my research on this, I turned up a lot of surpises; mainly that ethnically, this is definitely all, with no American influence. the origins of it attest to that. I've found rferences to it - as a gulyas - in Hungary, Slovakia and if I remember correctly, Transylvania. It simply "breaks all the rules" for whatever reason, and the name is simply the name. 

Ahron - the flavours here are really something. Its origins and traditions are with pork, but no reason that you can't make it with another meat. I hope you're able to try it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2014 at 11:27
Thing is; I'm going on a whim here, just based on personal experience.  

When I have had what is called Goulash, or Gulyas, if you prefer; It has always been beef based and there was no sour cream added. Even the paprika was not really noticable.

Now, with Paprikas, it was always pork or chicken, sour cream was added, and the paprika taste was more noticable.

I don't know if there is much difference in Hungary between the two, perhaps not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2014 at 00:04
My experience is pretty much the same as yours, even 9or perhaps especially) with Hungrian cuisine.

Nevertheless, the name stuck, for some reason, and this is how it came to be known. I tried to address this weird non-conformity in the opening words of my post:

Quote Székely Gulyás is a true rebel - it is quite interesting in that it breaks all of the traditional "gulyás rules." The dish generally uses pork - rather than the usual beef - sometimes it even uses a combination of meats! Further, it adds sauerkraut (unheard of!), and cream is added to the resulting sauce (scandalous!), making this dish a unique and intriguing exception to the normal gulyás methods that can be found elsewhere in Hungary and throughout Central and Eastern Europe. 

The dish's non-conformist character extends even further, to its nomenclature; the "Glittering Eye" blogreports: 

Quote [T]his "must be one of the most mis-named dishes in all of cuisine. The name, Székely gulyás, pronounced seh-key goo-yahsh (sort of) means “Gypsy goulash” in Hungarian. Only it probably isn’t a Gypsy recipe and it’s not a goulash. It’s technically a pork pörkölt with sauerkraut and sour cream.

http://theglitteringeye.com/?p=624 

This just occurred to me: maybe it is simply a name that they use as a joke?

in any case, I believe like you, that gulyas and paprikas are more....methods, than actual recipes. Same with polkott....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2014 at 07:27
Now, with Paprikas, it was always pork or chicken, sour cream was added, and the paprika taste was more noticable.

Again, there must be housewife-to-housewife differences. Friend Wife's aunt often make beef paprikas.

For our upcoming themed dinner we're including gombapaprikas, which is a traditional paprikas made with mushrooms.

I suspect your basic idea is correct: Goulas normally is light on paprika and doesn't use sour cream. Paprikas is heavy on the magic red powder, and uses sour cream.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 December 2015 at 18:19
This really is good stuff - unique and very tasty. I made a slightly-modified version a few nights ago, using bits and bobs that I got from trimming off a pork sirloin roast (the really cheap roast where the loin connects to the hindquarter). 

I shaved off the fat (there wasn't much) and cut it into small pieces/shavings, then cut the meat off the hip bone and into cubes/shavings. Next, I rendered out the fat, leaving the "cracklin's" in the Dutch oven on the stove top. This resulted in just enough rendered fat so that I could cook up a couple of diced onions, sear the pork cubes, and add some garlic, salt, pepper and a butt-load of paprika. Next, I added little stock, a couple of fresh, diced tomatoes and some sliced mushrooms (not in the original recipe, but very much recommended!). 

I then put the heavy lid back onto the Dutch oven and simmered the beautiful mess for an hour and a half or so. When it was ready to serve, I beat some flour into some sour cream, stirred it in, simmered a little longer (10 or 15 minutes) so that everything could get happy...and voila

I served it over mashed potatoes - the family and I really, really enjoyed it. The only thing that was really missing was the sauerkraut.

Anyway - extremely good, and easy - I'm hoping that you enjoy it, too, if you try it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zomborama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2016 at 10:42
I know this is an old thread but I just made this dish over the weekend and I notice a striking similarity with Polish Hunter's Stew (bigos) which uses sauerkraut, pork and smoked sausage. Hungary and Poland have historically had close ties and I wonder if this is one of those hybrid dishes that came from the Carpathian Mts.

I made this with beef instead of pork and added smoked paprika. I have to say this was quite amazing.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2016 at 04:49
I know this is an old thread but.....

We love it when old threads are reawakened, Zomborama, especially when there's a new take on the subject. So no need to apologize.

Welcome to our little corner of the culinary world. Based on this entry, I know we're gonna love having you here.

Why not head up to the Members Lounge and tell us a little about yourself: where you're from, your culinary interests, and so forth.
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