Sunday, May 24, 2009
Beef Goulash with Champ
Goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew, with origins dating back to the 9th century and the Magyar shepherds. The stew was prepared as a portable stock of food by slowly cooking cut-up meats with onions until the liquids had been absorbed and then dried in the sun and packed into bags made of sheep’s stomachs. At mealtime, water was added to a portion of the meat to reconstitute it into a soup or stew.
Champ is an Irish side dish, traditionally consisting mashed potatoes mixed with scallions, peas, nowadays given way to variations of root veggies such as turnips, parsnips, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and carrots as well as cabbage and kale. During the historical periods of financial struggle, champ became the champion Irish dish – cheap, nutritious and filling.
Most European countries rely on potatoes as a main starch or staple, and have some variation of the same, the English with their world-famous potato mash, Dutch with their stamppot boerenkool and Danish with their parsillia kartoffel mousse.
I have used Tara Harris’ winning recipe from UK TV reality show, Chefs and the City, it makes a fiery stew that is sure to warm you up, champ the perfect winter companion, the combination of desiree potatoes, carrots and parsnips makes for an extremely creamy mash.
Prep: 25 min Cook: 1 hr 20 min
For the goulash: 500g beef skirt steak, cut into cubes, 500g beef brisket, cut into cubes, 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned, 4 tbsp Olive oil, 2 large Onions, 2 red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped, 2 tsp Paprika, 1/2 tsp Chilli powder, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, 5 cloves Garlic, 2 tsp tomato purée, 400g tin chopped Tomatoes, 500ml beef stock, 2 Bay leaves, 2 sprigs Oregano, 2 sprigs Thyme, 1 x 330ml can Beer, 3 red Peppers (Roasted red peppers add an extra depth of flavour, and I highly recommend doing this.)
For the carrot, turnip and potato champ: 6-8 Potatoes, 4 Carrots, 1 Turnips, (I substituted with 5 slim parsnips instead) drizzle Olive oil
To serve: Sour cream, to taste, finely chopped Thyme and to taste
For the goulash: dust the cubed meat in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions until they’re softened and just beginning to brown. Add the cubed meat and fry until the meat is starting to brown on all sides. Sprinkle the chopped chillies, paprika, chilli powder and nutmeg into the pan. Stir to coat the meat in all the spices. Add the garlic, tomato purée, tinned tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and beer to the pan. Simmer for 1 hour over a low heat. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas. Put the whole red peppers on a roasting tray and transfer the tray to the oven. Cook until the peppers are blackened. Once the peppers are black, remove them from the oven and cover with cling film. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, discard the cling film and peel off the pepper skins. Remove and discard the seeds, as well as the skin, slice the flesh and add the slices to the goulash.
For the carrot, turnip and potato champ: peel potatoes, carrots and turnips, cut into cubes and add to a pan of boiling salted water over a medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain the vegetables and tip them back into the pan. Place the pan back over the heat to remove any excess moisture. Add a drizzle of olive oil and mash the vegetables with a masher or ricer until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve the goulash and mash with soured cream on the side and sprinkle over finely chopped fresh thyme and oregano, to taste.