Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spicy Hungarian Goulash with Egg Dumplings

This post is about my new discovery. Her name is June Meyer. Have you heard of her? Neither had I, until I started hunting around online for an authentic recipe for Hungarian goulash. I've made a yummy vegetarian version in the past, loosely inspired by my too-brief time in Budapest, but my soul had a deep down hankering for the real beefy deal. And that meant I needed to find a  recipe with no tomatoes and no flour: just paprika, paprika, and more paprika.

Enter June Meyer. Like just about everyone these days, she has a recipe site,  but it's not the sort of slick, photo-driven blog we've all grown accustomed to. Indeed, there are no photos of food at all.  If nostalgia is a growing trend in cuisine, then I think her Web site is in the vanguard of some sort of back-to-basics sister food blog trend. It will catapult you back to the  heady Internet days of the 1990s and all those text heavy sites dredged up in a Webcrawler search.  All you Yahooligans know exactly what I'm talking about.  But to me, this stripped-down approach is the appeal of Meyer's site. It's welcoming and honest and refreshingly unsnarky. As it says right there on the home page: "Welcome to June Meyer's Authentic Hungarian Heirloom Recipes Homepage."

A former elementary school teacher, Meyer has archived her family recipes online, as well as putting together her own cookbook, which you can get only through mail order. As in - you need to send her a check or money order. For real. This requires a level of trust rarely called for in modern society. (You can order the book from other sellers on Amazon, but rather than the $22 price tag for U.S. residents listed on Meyer's site, the price for a new book on Amazon is listed at an alarming $10,000.)

How can she be anything but for real? Just look at her holding her cookbook in this, the only image I have found on her site:
I do know one thing - her goulash recipe, which she says she learned to make from her grandmother,  is perfection. The only thing I changed was to add carrots and a bit of garlic along with the potatoes, and I do hope her nagyanya will forgive me!

Because Meyer's dish is authentically Hungarian, it is soupy, unlike Austrian versions which have more of the consistency of stew. This makes sense - after all, you can't make those adorable little egg dumplings unless you have some broth for them to simmer in. I'm not going to reprint her recipe here, as you really need to go check it out and have your own June Meyer Experience.

What I will tell you is that you might be surprised at just how much flavor you can get from beef, potatoes, and onions. Well, when you see that the onions get fried in lard you may be less surprised! Meyer states that "You can never use too much paprika," and so I took her at her word and used 3 heaping tablespoons of the stuff (sweet Hungarian, of course) along with an additional teaspoon of hot paprika. All that luscious color comes from the beef juices and the paprika. Feast your eyes:
If you order the book, I would love to hear all about it!





31 comments:

  1. if i can replace the beef with chicken i guess i gonna try this soon

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  2. hmm have never had this one ever~ now I am so intrigued cant wait to try it sounds wonderful! Will let you know how I like it... maybe try it this weekend!

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  3. Good post, liked the way the recipe has been explained & supported with Great pictures of the Goulash.

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  4. Love goulash! What a hearty meal - beautiful photos.

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  5. Hey Trix! It looks like you executed June Meyers Goulash perfectly. Not that I'm a Goulash expert or anything (smile). I love that pretty color of rich paprika though-it looks delicious!
    Oh, and I will check out Ms. Meyers. She does look like the real thing...;-)

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  6. Some recipes there is just no room for snark. I have found that this year I'm all about these types of dishes. There is a reason they hold up over the years. If you keep this up, I will have to give you a Stylish Blogger award.

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  7. So moreish! We're stepping into autumn here now, and that is looking deliciously comforting.

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  8. This goulash looks amazing and sounds so authentic, I love that it's just paprika. Sounds like a must try for sure!

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  9. I am definitely going to try this one! I've tried a different version of goulash and dumplings before, but I have to check out Ms. Meyers!

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  10. It looks like the sun set in the bowl. What great color, Trix! My Hungarian friend always told me she never got the real deal except when her mother made it and it was super full of paprika and soupy just like yours... anything else is faux. She got me George Lang's Cuisine of Hungary... it is quite a book. The beef goulash (gulyas) has heart in it... it is an excellent book you may like. It's probably a buck on Amazon! PS He does mention something called noble rose paprika

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  11. I like the colour of this dish alot. So appertizing! I hope I can get a better quality paprika here. Seems so hard to get a good one. You've just tempted me to make one. :o) Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day.
    Cheers, Kristy

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  12. What a beautiful dish for winter weary souls. While I have several recipes for this dish I'm always willing to try another version. I'm relatively new to your blog and don't comment often. I just want you to know how much I enjoy my visits here. I really love the food and recipes you share with your readers. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  13. Yikes! Sorry Trix LOL

    Love the colour of this very pretty goulash and June's site radiates sincerity and a certain innocence, I think..

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  14. I must admit your goulash looks terrific but Mrs. Meyer's site is visually hard to swallow, I'm afraid...

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  15. looks awesome. I will try your vegetarian version.

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  16. Ooh, this is wonderful comfort food! I love dumplings!!

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  17. Real Hungarian goulash is in my list of things to try before I die. Now with your post it has move a lot closer to the top. It looks so great!

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  18. My husband's family is Hungarian and I KNOW they would approve this recipe! Looks awesome. :)

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  19. Love goulash, my mom would cook it quite often when we were growing up.Yum!

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  20. So very wintery! Perfect timing as weather is getting tad cold now.

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  21. I'm so sick right now and just looking at your spicy goulash makes me feel better! Now I've got to get the hubs to cook it for me...

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  22. Hungarian paprika has been one of my favorite discoveries in recent years. It truly is what makes a Goulash truly Hungarian. This looks perfect for the winter weather!

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  23. authentic recipes are the best - and anything with that much paprika must be heaven! i'm drooling!

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  24. The goulash looks amazing and what an unusual find. Wow 10,000 vs 22$...hmmm. Got to get some real paprika.

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  25. That looks like a big hug in a bowl. Yum.

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  26. Well, I'm a real hungarian from Hungary, and I can confirm that this recipe is really close to the way the people cooks the goulash soup here.(Because we ate it as a soup, just before a main dish, which is generally lighter - a pasta or some pancake or all kind of sweet yeasted doughs - after this kind of heavy, meaty soup like this)

    Its color is depends on the quality of the paprika, and a really important factor: have to avoid to burn it, because it results dark, brown color and extremely sour taste. So I always add the oninon and the meat first, and when I add the paprika I add immediately a little water, too. And I use carrots, too...but garlic..never!! :)

    No need to use flour at all, the thickness of the soup is comes from the onions, potato and the dumplings.

    It was nice to read the post and so many enthusiastic comment!

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  27. I found June Meyer's recipe too and made it the other week and even sent her an email saying that it was heavenly. She responded right back to me! And actually sent me the link of your blog - saying that you too had tried the recipe. I absolutely agree that it is fantastic and I never expected to get that much flavor out of beef, onions, potatoes and paprika. Also I cannot believe the original book is selling for 10K on amazon!

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  28. Finom! That's Hungarian for delicious. Next time I will try the extra tbs of Hungarian Paprika though!

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  29. Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

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