With mom here, she shares a few secret family recipes with us.
Julie from choir had a special experience tracing her roots back to Hungary. In honour of her adventure, mom and I show her a few of our favourite dishes.
Today we make Goulash soup (which we have shared before ) but today with cheese biscuits.
Goulash Soup (Gulyas Leves)
A Paprika’s stew with added water and soup vegetables is really what this is and the recipe starts off identical to any Hungarian stew. (Paprikas)
Start with 500 grams – 1 kilogram of stewing veal or beef, but pork or pork and beef mixed is a nice alternative. This will make a nice family portion with leftovers for lunch the next day. Cut into bite sized pieces.
A little tip- Choose marbled cuts of meat for a tastier soup.
Brown 2 diced onions on medium heat in olive oil. Once translucent, add your meat and spices: 1-1 1/2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon salt and pepper to taste and garlic. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Then add in your 1-2 quartered tomatoes and 1-2 yellow Hungarian peppers (if not available you may use regular peppers), cored and quartered. Stir on high for 10 minutes, then cover and simmer on medium-low, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes or until the stew meat is completely cooked through. The longer on low you cook this, the softer the stew meat will become.
Once the meat is like butter, nearly falling apart, I pick out the pepper and tomatoe skins, but it is not necessary. My kids do not like them floating in their plates and I have an intolerance to pepper skins but no real need.
Then raise the water covering the stew and then the same amount of water again. A little more water for a more soup consistency. Some people barely cover their stew and end up with a thicker version but it depends on which region you are from in Hungary. Bring it to a boil.
Then add 4 potatoes cut into medium cubes, 1 white carrot or 2 parsnip cut into round slices, (or if you have no white carrot/parsnips use 3 celery stalks or a 2 inch piece of celery root peeled but in one piece to fish out before serving) 4 medium carrots cut into round slices, add more salt and pepper to taste or add 1-2 OXO cubes or a tablespoon Vegeta. Add in 1-2 Bay leaf for another dimension of flavour, take them out before serving.
Eva’s Tip – We do not peel our vegetables but scrub them clean to add the nutrient found in the skins.
Cook on medium until the veggies are tender. Do not overcook the vegetables. Before serving add fresh chopped parsley.
Homemade Dumplings, Pinchies or ‘Csipetke’
- 1 cup flour
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2-4 tablespoons of water
Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. The dough should be stiff but still workable. It may need a little more water. Have flour on hand. Pinch off little bits at a time into a bowl with 1 tablespoon on flour at the bottom, about 1/3 smarty sized. The smaller the bits, the better. Continue, sprinkling with flour so they do not stick together. In essence these are fresh noodles. It is a bit of work, but worth it! Ashamed to say, Julie and Mom did most of the work for our soup.
Once the Goulash is completely cooked, bring it back to a boil and throw in your ‘Csipetke’ (translation –little pinches). Once they float, about 5 minutes later, dinner is ready! Turn off your stove.
Serve with thick hearty bread like rye or potato bread. A dollop of sour cream on top, a splash of hot ‘Eros Pista’ or hot sauce too, gives it a nice kick.
When the ancient Hungarian people roamed the lands, they would cook Goulash dangling over open fires in cast iron pots. With the same simple ingredients, they made the same beautiful, tasty meals.
Hungarian Classic Cheese Biscuits (Giricz Nagymama’s Recipe) makes 60-200 shot glass round 1-2 cm thick biscuits (depending on preference) 15-20 minutes on 350 degrees (180) until lightly browned. This is the doubled recipe for parties, which once made and shared, you will be asked over and again to make.
- 1 kilo flour
- 500 grams shredded cheese (cheddar, gouda, Emmental or whatever you like of dry cheese)
- 500 grams butter
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- 2 tablespoon baking powder
- 500 gram tube sour cream
Add everything together except the sour-cream and mix by hand until it starts to stick. Using a little at a time, add in sour cream. Do not over mix; once you are able to roll it, it is mixed.
Mom’s tip is to knead on the counter, being much easier putting your weight behind it.
Flour your surface plus your dough and roll out. We made 120x 1 cm thick biscuits, but I prefer 2 cm thick, tall and flakey. You can not go wrong with this recipe. In fact it you want to make giant biscuits, use a small drinking glass and this could be your classic breakfast biscuits.
Once they are browned they are done.