Captains Dinner Logo
to top
Hungarian Goulash in the kettle

Hungarian goulash - straight from the Puszta

October 14th, 2018 | Landgänge

From Budapest we made our way to the Hungarian Puszta. If there is a “real” Hungarian goulash somewhere, then in Hortobágyi, a small town in the middle of the Puszta. On the bridge market (Hídivásár), which is celebrated annually on the national holiday in Hortobágyi, we found it. Here it boiled and bubbled in large cauldrons. And we brought the recipe…

Hungarian goulash - straight from the Puszta

In search of the Hungarian goulash

A good two and a half hours we drove by car with our dear friend, the ship’s doctor, until we saw the landmark of Hortobágyi: the “Nine Arch Bridge”. Never before had I seen so many storks and sunflowers anywhere as on the way there. Just overwhelming. And I have not experienced such a heat. Although we really had a hot summer in 2018 even in northern Germany and the temperatures in the Puszta “allegedly” about the same, it felt really different. Pungent. Hot. Barely unsustainable.

The Puszta of Hortobágyi is the largest and most famous Central European steppe area, it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. Here in the center of this national park, right next to the Nine Arch Bridge, you will find the bridge market, a shepherd’s museum, a bird clinic and a very good restaurant. But one after another:

Hortobagyi breathes history

A visit to the small shepherd’s museum is highly recommended. In the old building from 1785 you can get an overview of the living conditions of earlier times in the Puszta. How did shepherds live, work, dress and… how did they cook their goulash…

The restaurant Czárdas is also worth a visit. In the newly renovated buildings next to the former Salt Road, right by the Nine-Arch Bridge, travellers have been spoiled with good Hungarian food for more than 300 years. The hearty pancakes stuffed with meat from the Hungarian grey cattle are even known throughout the country as “Hortobágyi-style pancakes”. And of course, how could it be otherwise, there is also an excellent goulash here…

In the search for the ultimate goulash, we should not miss out on the Madárpark Birding and Repatriation Station: For nearly 20 years, wounded animals, especially birds (and, as it seems, mostly storks), have been treated, cared for, and end up in several stages re-released. A really impressive facility!

Goulash kettle on the bridge market

The large, annual bridge market also takes place directly at the Nine Arch Bridge: it’s something between a folk festival and a craft market and you can buy all Hungarica for which Hungary is famous: basketwork, crockery, goulash pots from very small to huge, glasses, knives, peppers, salami, skins and leather, antiques, wine and – of course – goulash from large kettles for little money. Here we are right!

Gulyas, Pörkölt, Paprika - same, same, but different

Goulash is omnipresent in Hungary. There is hardly a restaurant without it on the menu. Served on rustic enamel plates or in small stainless steel kettles, there seems to be an infinite number of types of preparation. Goulash in Hungary is always a soup with peppers, onions and potatoes. Gulyás means nothing else than “made by a shepherd”.

Pörkölt is more like our German goulash, also with peppers, many onions and a thickened sauce. Paprikás, on the other hand, is made with white meat (eg veal), it usually contains less paprika and onions, but it is refined with sour cream.

The spiciness for all three dishes is basically brought in later at the table. Hot, fresh peppers or chillies or hot to hellish-hot chili paste are served at the table, so any one can dose at will or fortune. Incidentally, my dearest captain is a phenomenon here, even for Hungary. He can eat unbelievably (!) hot.

Here is the Puszta recipe for a fine Hungarian Goulash, even if it is perhaps more a Pörkölt – or at least a Paprikás?

Hungarian goulash

(serves 4 – 6)

If you want to enjoy your goulash with spaetzle, you’ll find the recipe here.

400 g onions, chopped
50 g lard
sauté
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2 peppers, red, diced
2 TS of Hungarian paprika powder, sweet
1 ts salt
½ ts vanilla sugar
add, sauté, deglaze with 100 ml of water and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, repeat this procedure at least three times
1 kg of veal goulash
½ ts caraway
add and stew, add some water and simmer for about 75 minutes until the meat is soft, stir regularly and if necessary add a little more water
(100g sour cream)
enjoy the goulash pure or refine it with sour cream, serve with spaetzle and pickled cucumbers

Leave me a message

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show-Cooking auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse November 28th, 2017 | collaboration

Show-Cooking – and I did not shed any tears

„In the show kitchen of Frankfurt book fair it smelled like garlic and vanilla at the same time. It was mouthwatering for the people sitting in front of the cooking area.“ These are the opening words of an article of the December issue of health food magazine „Schrot & Korn“ about my performance in the Gourmet Gallery at Frankfurt book fair. The issue will be published on November 28th, it is available gratis in all German organic markets. And I did not shed any tears at all.

read more
Restaurant Haebel, recommended by Beef! "Best Cuts in Town" April 6th, 2019 | on the road

Restaurant Haebel and Heimatjuwel – our Beef! favorites

The men (cook) magazine BEEF! presented 15 different Hamburg restaurants and bars in their restaurant guide “Best Cuts in Town”. For the past 15 months, we have had our very own “Best Cuts Tour” through Hamburg with the book and visited eleven of the 15 recommended locations. The restaurants “Haebel” and “Heimatjuwel” were our absolute favorites.

read more
Wild boar stew with plum and vanilla sauce, potato noodles and salsifies December 26th, 2017 | main dishes

Don’t be afraid of game!

Time and again I hear: “I have never prepared game, I don’t know whether I can do that.” This concern is nowadays absolutely unfounded. The days of strong smell and taste are long gone. So-called “Haut goût” (French for „high taste“) referred to the very intense, slightly unpleasant smell that arose when the meat was stored too long without proper cooling. Today, in the age of cold stores and freezers, it does not exist any longer. So, get to the wild feast.

read more

Subscribe

Just enter your data, and you will be notified of the latest posts.