Region: All over Germany, influences of Bavaria, Austria, and Hungary. The dumplings are as Bavarian as it gets.
„Never order Goulash in a Restaurant”, would be my whole-hearted recommendation to anyone. They just don’t put the amount of effort and creativity required into preparing the meal. It will be bound to be too greasy, too spicy, too stale, with the meat too tough and any variation thereof. Rather prepare it yourself; it is bound to be better when home-made.
This one-pot stew has its origins in Hungary from where it started its journey to other European countries, including Germany.
Slight variations are found in the various countries to the extent that ingredients are changed, added, or left out. Thus, there is probably no one truly authentic goulash receipt unless prepared by a Hungarian herdsman in a steel pot (which is said to be the origin of the dish). If cooked in the proper way, goulash has a nice and evenly thick consistency, almost like a sauce. In Germany, Goulash is commonly eaten as a main dish; served with noodles, spaetzle, dumplings, or just boiled potatoes.
Goulash is a great dish to reheat the next day. With enough time for the flavors to really develop, you’ll find it tastes even better the following evening.
For my variation of Goulash, I use venison and game, (if you can’t get it, use veal and pork). I stay simple on the spices, creating a twist of finesse by adding cream and red currant jelly, serving everything on sliced and briefly fried dumplings made from pretzel dough. The dumplings dough is rolled into one long dumpling which is wrapped in a kitchen towel or linen napkin and placed into hot water. Literally translated from German these dumplings are called “Napkin Dumplings”(Serviettenknödel).
Serve a red wine, but beer will also work well.
You’ll gobble it up, guaranteed!
Serves: 4 Difficulty: Easy Preparation time: 2 hours.
For the Goulash
- 2 Tbs of lard or vegetable oil for frying
- 300 g (10.6 oz) of game goulash, cubed
- 300 g (10.6 oz) of venison goulash
- 80 g (3 oz) of bacon bits
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 4 crushed juniper berries
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ts of hot paprika powder
- 1 ts of sweet (mild) paprika powder
- 1 ts cayenne pepper
- 1 can (200 ml / 6.7 fl oz) of chunky tomato pieces
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 2 medium sized red bell peppers, finely chopped
- The zest (skin) of ½ organic lemon
- 1 tbs flour
- 1-2 tbs lemon juice
- 200-300 ml (6.7 – 10 fl. oz.) dry red wine
- 200-300 ml (6.7 – 10 fl. oz.) of game stock
- 1 tbs redcurrant jelly
- 100 (3.4 fl. oz) ml cream
- Fine lemon zest peeled with a lemon zester
For the Dumplings:
- Four (300g or 10.6 oz) large original German Pretzels (if you cannot get them, use French croutons instead)
- 1 large onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 hand full of chanterelle mushrooms (if available)
- 1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
- 20 g (0.7 oz) butter
- 220 ml (7.4 fl. oz) milk
- 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Additional fine bread crumbs
- 1 clean kitchen towel
- String cord
- 2 Tbs Butter
In a stew pot on brown the meat from all sides for 2-3 minutes. Do this in several portions, ensuring that you don’t put too much meat into the pot at one time. This would take up too much heat and the meat may lose juices. Put meat in a bowl and set aside.
Once all of the meat has been browned, place the bacon into the pot and give it a two minutes roast. Add onions and garlic and give them another 2 minutes stir. Add the meat and sprinkle with 1 TBS of flour and add 1 tbs of tomato paste. Stir for another 2-3 minutes the add the can chunky tomotoes (200 ml / 6.7 fl oz)
Add some red wine and, game stock. The meat should be well covered with liquid. Now add the spices, including: 4 crushed juniper berries, 1 bay leaf, 1 ts of hot paprika powder, 1 ts of sweet (mild) paprika powder, 1 ts cayenne pepper, 2 medium sized red bell peppers, finely chopped and the zest (skin) of ½ organic lemon (this will be removed again later).
Stew for about 50-60 minutes with and open lid over mild to medium heat, occasionally pouring in more wine and game stock if needed. After the time, check if the meat is soft. If it is still tough, add more cooking time. Ideally the meat should melt in your mouth.
Once done, season the sauce with more paprika and cayenne pepper if you desire it to be spicier. Remove the lemon zest. Add 1 tbs of redcurrant jelly, 1-2 tbs lemon juice, and 100 ml of cream. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
While the meat is stewing, prepare the dumplings. Cut the pretzels into small cubes and place in a bowl. Chop 1 large onion, 1 clove of garlic and the very finely chop the chanterelle mushrooms. Sauté everthing in hot butter until they turn soft. Add 220 ml milk and bring to a soft boil for 2 minutes. Poor the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the pretzel cubes. Add the eggs and season with salt, pepper, chives, and nutmeg. Mix everything to a dough that has a consistency allowing it to be rolled into dumplings. If it is too soft more fine breadcumbs. Let everything sit for 15 minutes. Place a moist kitchen towel on your counter surface and place the dough in its center. Form a long roll out of the dough and loosely wrap with the kitchen towl, tying the ends using the string cord. Place the package in a large enough pot with boiling water and let soak under a very mild boil for 30 minutes.
Remove from water, unwrap the long dumpling and cut into ½ inch slices. Melt butter in a frying pan and fry dumpling on both side until golden brown. Here is a step by step picture guide how it is done, all this is done
Serve everything on a plate, sprinkle lemon zest over the meat and then…