By Special Request, Transylvanian Goulash (Szekely Gulyas)

This dish was first experienced at Café Chianti in Halifax. (The pre-fire Café Chianti, which was a hands-down favourite for cozy atmosphere and old-world servers. Unfortunately the new Café Chianti, located in a part of town where south enders go to feel good about shopping, seems to lack the same charm. But I’ve only been once, so stay tuned.) They served it with spaetzle and it was jaw dropping delicious.

Chad was able to find the recipe (not sure where) and it has been served countless times to favourable reviews. Everyone loves this dish (even Terra had seconds) and it’s surprisingly easy to make. The only annoying kitchen gadget tip is it really helps to have a spaetzle maker. I know people substitute cheese graters and Ziploc bags as they carefully shape each noodle, but the spaetzle maker works like a charm. I’ve taken the short cut of serving this with egg noodles, and it’s nowhere near as memorable. (Note: while not necessarily a feast for the eyes [it’s still goulash]; Transylvanian Goulash is a feast in every other way.)

Transylvanian Goulash (Szekely Gulyas)
Serves 4-6

Roughly chop 1/2 package of bacon and fry until cooked. Set bacon aside. Reserve a few tablespoons of the bacon fat and sauté 1 cup of finely chopped onions and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic until translucent.

Stir in (until onions are well-coated): 2 tbsp. Hungarian paprika (I have no idea if I use Hungarian paprika. Is all paprika Hungarian? Is it the macadamia nut of spices? No idea.)

Add pork (whatever you have and however much you want) cut into 1-inch cubes. Add Hungarian sausage (buy in your deli) cut up into bite size pieces. Add bacon.

Spread over meats: 1 lb. sauerkraut

Sprinkle over sauerkraut: 1 and 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds. (I don’t usually add this much, but the original recipe called for it).

Combine 1 can of tomato paste and a carton of chicken stock. (Sorry Tom, I know I should be making chicken stock.)

Pour above mixture over sauerkraut. Add water to bring liquid level to almost the height of the sauerkraut. (I’ve never done this. The chicken stock is always enough.)

Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer one hour.

Mix together with wire whisk:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream (or whatever you have on hand)
2 tbsp. flour

Stir into casserole: simmer for ten more minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste (I’ve never done this either. Trust me, it’s already tasty.)

The recipe we use for the spaetzle can be found here at AllRecipes. Follow it verbatim – it’s perfect. However, we usually quadruple it to feed four to six people (and to match the amount of goulash.)

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3 Comments on “By Special Request, Transylvanian Goulash (Szekely Gulyas)”

  1. Tabbie Kennedy's #1 fan says:

    Sixtop just made my day! I’ve been thinking about this meal for years. Thanks for the outstanding response to reader requests.

  2. Kathy says:

    Mmmm… I love goulash… and you know I learned all my Hungarian recipes from Robbie’s beautiful nagymama 🙂
    You have got to try this with fresh lángos. Lovely, warm, fried bread… krumplis lángos (made with potato) is amazing rubbed with a sliced clove of garlic.
    AND… if you question whether you’ve got good Hungarian paprika, you’ve got to visit Fairmount Meat Market on Saint-Laurent when you’re in Montreal… Joe is THE Hungarian butcher the entire community goes to, and he sells the best paprika you can find. You really can see, smell, and taste the difference!!!

    • Tom C says:

      Hey Kath, I’ve never tried Lángos. It sounds amazing! And sounds like I have to get to the Fairmount Meat Market on my next visit. We’ll meet for coffee?


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