Friday, March 4, 2011

Gundel’s Hungarian Cookbook by Karoly Gundel.

Gundel’s Hungarian Cookbook by Karoly Gundel.  Hardcover book published 1997.

Very occasionally I regret selling a book.  At some stage (possibly 3 years ago) I sold a copy of this book before I got around to copying the Gulyas soup (Goulash Soup) recipe.  What happened was that before I sold the book I had found the recipe and decided to give it a go, having fond memories and nostalgia for an aunt’s Goulash Soup.  I had made it before and since with varying success.  But here’s the big news… the recipe in this book is close to perfect.  Now when I say “perfect” I mean it tastes like my aunt’s finest pot full of what I consider to be authentic Hungarian Cuisine (…I’m sure there’s a Goulash forum out there somewhere… if you want to discuss what makes a good Goulash, maybe consult with them if my comment concerns you). 

Anyway the book sold.  I packed it up and posted it… and then realized that I didn’t have a copy of the recipe.  I’m a relatively confident bookseller (?) and there are certain books that I figure I will find again and this was one of them.  It took 3 long years of close but inferior bowls of soup, until I did… but the joy and excitement when I did find another copy… you have no idea.

So who was Gundel?  Well he was this Hungarian bloke who had a number of famous restaurants in Budapest pre and post WWII.  He died along time before this book was published and this newer edition was edited by his sons.  The person who bought the original copy from me was very excited to have found this book and from memory indicated that they had eaten at one of his restaurants and had been suitably impressed.  They were not aware of the cookbook until I had listed it.

Now here’s a first for this blog… I have decided that despite my love and interest of Hungarian Cuisine and particularly Goulash Soup, that I will still try and sell this book… and to avoid any further inferior Goulash recipes, I have decided to write up the recipe here as a reference, not only for me, but for you (yes you) as well. 

A few quick notes about the recipe. 
I personally tend to vary some ingredients.  Things like lard are not common in my kitchen, so I use olive oil… and slightly less.  Also there is mention of soup pasta (csipetke)… I don’t do this but I’ve left it in as you may want to do this (I haven’t included the recipe… maybe check the www if your keen).  From memory the proportion of Potato in the recipe is a little high… so less potatoes.  Also the recipe doesn’t indicate the quantity of caraway seeds… don’t over do it, but make sure there’s enough.

Gulyás Soup

360 g (2 1/2 cups) cubed beef
800g (1 3/4 Ib) potato
80g (5 Tbs) lard
140g (1 cup) green pepper
150g (7/8 cup) onion
60g (1 small) fresh tomato
15g (1 Tbs) paprika
6 portions of soup pasta (csipetke)
salt, garlic, caraway seeds

Except for the proportions of the ingredients, this soup is prepared like Bográcsgulyás (Recipe as follows).

Use meat rich in gelatine (shin-beef blade or neck). Cube the meat into 1.5—2 cm pieces. Fry the chopped onion in the melted lard (shortening) until it is golden yellow. Lower the heat, then add the paprika, stir it rapidly, add the meat, keep on stirring, add salt. When the meat is browned and all the liquid is evaporated, add the caraway seeds, finely chopped garlic and a small amount of cold water, cover, and braise the meat slowly. Stir it occasionally and add small quantities of water if necessary. The meat should be braised, not boiled. While the meat is cooking, cube the potatoes, green pepper and tomatoes into pieces 1 cm in size and prepare the dough for the soup pasta (csipetke). Just before the meat is completely tender, reduce the pan juices, add the cubed potatoes, let them brown slightly, add the stock, green pepper and tomato. When the potato is almost cooked and the soup is ready to be served, add the pasta (csipetke), and adjust quantity by the addition of stock or water.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh a goulash forum - that is MY kind of forum! I had a Hungarian grandfather and of course... he used to turn up with soup. Thanks for posting the recipe! ... three long years of close but inferior bowls of soup - that is terrible! I had no idea!