Thursday, January 5, 2012

goulash of the gods

if there was ever a word that warmed the cockles, it's goulash. at once both incredibly fun to say and full of the warmiest warm ingredients, enjoyed the eastern european world over.
now! here are a few fun facts about me that will maybe culminate in a story or recipe.
- though the weather in tel aviv is well above zero, my unheated room with its uninsulated walls gets quite frigid. i'm often cold.
-besides running a generally tight ship, one of my roommates also insists on keeping a kosher kitchen in the house. this has me slightly confused and fearful of mixing meat and milk utensils...not to mention desperately longing for pig. i've been avoiding eating/preparing any meat in the house as a coping strategy.
-i had the day off of work today. fun!
-my other roommate is a vegetarian. whatever, it's a choice.
sooo, i was walking around doin' some groceries and stuff, and i happed upon some frozen, cubed, kosher, stewing beef in the organic health food store. this was an obvious sign from mastilla, the made-up hungarian god of homecooked meals. "goulash" it (don't be fooled by the name, it's an androgynous god) whispered into my belly.
and goulash it was!
right. so, in one of the 'meat only' pots, i fried some garlic and chopped spanish onion until soft. i then added the slightly defrosted meat to brown. i threw in some sweet paprika, salt and pepper and a splash of regular white vinegar, because i didn't have balsamic. as a thickener, i added some flour to the bit of liquid in the pot, then i covered the meat with water and let it simmer for about an hour. the stewing meat has all this connective tissue and fat that needs to be cooked until it dissolves. trust, you don't want to bite into that stuff, it's way tastier when it liquifies.. then you can just lap it up. mmm.
after that lengthy sit in the hot tub, the meat can be accompanied by some cubed veggies. i had potato, zucchini, carrot, yellow pepper, mushrooms, also some tomato paste, and then keep on cooking the soup until it's good and cooked. like, when the veggies are soft, the meat is fall-apart-y and mastilla tells you "your work here is finished." (don't worry, it's just talking about dinner).

on that note. i may have lost my mind...but at least i'm warm!