Well I can tell you now for nothing, that goulash with boiled potatoes is the single most traditional dinner I have ever cooked. I’m not sure that I’ve ever cooked a stew of any kind in fact, even a beany one. Well, I’ve gone and done it now.
I’m a member of lots of great Facebook groups, and often discussions turn to what’s for dinner. I usually fly past these unless I’m in a specific veggie themed group (there are many!) but one woman’s goulash recipe caught my eye. She made it with tofu. Tofu no less! I dunno if Hungarians would stand for that.
Now, if you’re reading this in the present day (rather than from space, in the future, as a research project) you’ll know that it’s August, and in August in Ireland, thoughts turn to comfort food. Our climate tends towards the Autumnal at this time of year, the heat needs to be on for an hour or so in the morning, and sure you might even set a small fire one of these evenings and isn’t it getting dark fierce early now (okay that still means 930pm for my friends dwelling closer to the equator). In September we’ll shed our parkas and emerge blinking into the sun for our last hurrah of summer, inevitably the children’s first week back at school.
I digress. I had no tofu in, so I substituted 350g quorn pieces. The woman in question’s husband doesn’t eat mushrooms, so she suggested 2 peppers instead. I, while mentally high-fiving her husband, concurred with this suggestion. This is very much a store cupboard dish for me for the most part. If anyone needs bay leaves, send me a stamped addressed envelope, I have a bay tree that would rival an oak in my garden. Okay, maybe not quite, but I have let it go crazy to block the view of the neighbours shed.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 500g tofu, cut into chunks (or 350g quorn pieces, defrosted)
- 2 large carrots, cut into cubes
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 150ml Red wine
- 500ml veg stock (I use Marigold or Kallo brands)
- 1 dash soy sauce
- 1 pepper
- 150g mushrooms (or 1 extra pepper)
- Thyme, Paprika, Salt, Pepper
Fry onions, garlic and quorn in olive oil for a few minutes.
Add soy sauce, stir.
Add carrots, wine and stock, tomato puree, paprika and bay leaves. Let simmer for about 30 mins.
Then add the peppers (mushrooms if you’re using them), rest of herbs/spices to taste and simmer 5 more mins.
Take bay leaves out before serving.
This is the ultimate comfort food. I served it with potatoes to soak up all the lovely “juice” but I would like to try it with rice too. My hungover husband loved it, pronouncing it flavoursome and hearty (it was even better reheated). He would eat comforting stews and bacon and cabbage for 90% of dinners if he had the chance. Frankly, I am his cross to bear, food-wise with my light this, and summery that.
The acid test for family food and whether a recipe is worth repeating, is trying it on the kids. We don’t do separate meals, so for the most part if they won’t eat it, then we’re not cooking it. Even the fussyish toddler cleaned his plate, something he hasn’t done for as long as I can remember. (He’s not a big dinner eater; he savages breakfast then eats gradually less at each meal)
This is definitely going into our rotation. The recipe above served 4 adults and 2 children. It would also be a great early dish to try out early on for Baby Led Weaning as everything is cooked to a very tender degree.