Styrian gulash with spaetzle

It’s OKTOBERFEST  and everyone thinks steins of beer and ooompah music. Truth is, I LOVE Germanic cooking as it’s the best comfort food in the world. Notice I said Germanic because I learned all about it from a very good friend of mine who is a culinary schooled master chef, having learned the art in Austria where he is from.

One of the things he taught me to make is Austrian gulash. Where he is from especially ,near Graz near the Czech border, this is a staple. Hungarian goulash doesn’t incorporate tomatoes and is more of a soup. This is thick and is served with spaetzel or dumplings. Here’s his recipe (more or less as I had to figure out measurements- he’s a pinch of this and a fist of that kind of cook).

GULASH

2 tbs sunflower oil

2 1/2 (give or take) stewing beef or roast cut into cubes

2 large onions, chopped

7 tbp sweet paprika, substitute 1  sweet for 1 smoked paprika (optional)

3 tbs tomato paste

2 tbs white vinegar

4 bay leaves

1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp marjoram

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carton sour cream, about 20 oz (get the fat free)

10 tbs flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

beef bullion in water enough to cover meat

In a dutch oven, brown the meat in batches and set aside. Brown the onions and garlic, then add back the meat and brown together. Add the bullion enough to cover the meat and add the spices and vinegar. Cover and simmer slowly until meat is tender, about 1 hour.

Remove lid and simmer an additional 30 minutes until half the liquid is gone.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the sour cream with the flour thoroughly. Add to the meat and stir constantly to make a thick gravy.

Serve with dumplings or spaetzel and steamed veggies.

HOMEMADE SPAETZEL

This is moron proof; ask me, I know!

1 3/4 cps milk

4 large egg yokes

1 large egg

3 cps all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1 tsp salt

14 tsp fresh ground pepper

2 tbs sunflower oil or butter

In a small  bowl, wisk together milk, egg yokes and egg. In a large bowl, wisk together the flour and nutmeg, 1 tsp salt and the pepper. With a wooden spoon, stir in the egg mixture into the flour just until blended but still slightly lumpy. Cover the bowl and refridge the batter at least an hour or even overnight.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and preparea large bowl of ice water. Carefully hold a colandar with large holes over the boiling water. Add 1/2 of the batter to the colander and with the back of a large spoon, press the batter through the holes to drop into the water. Repeat until all the batter is used.

Cook for 2 minutes then drain thoroughly. Transfer the spaetzle to the ice water right away, stir until all the ice has melted. Put them in a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper, oil or  butter (I like butter)

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