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Meat for Bográcsgulyás

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:57 pm
by sorrydude
When I was young, my grandmother lived with an old friend, Mrs. Federko. She used to make a very simple, but very tasty goulash. As I remember it, she only used lard, onions, potatoes, water, and dried spiced beef cubes. She would cook it all day in a pot, the meat would rehydrate and become soft, the potatoes would be falling apart, and it had a consistency like a thick sauce rather than a soup or a stew.

I was wondering if anyone has knowledge of this kind of dried meat that is used in a traditional bográcsgulyás and more importantly, how to make it. As far as I know, the only spices on the beef were salt and Hungarian paprika. My father says that it may have also had caraway and black pepper, but he doesn't know that for sure. The meat was made into 1 inch cubes, dried and heavily seasoned.

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Meat for Bográcsgulyás

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:30 pm
by sorrydude
A slightly different question. Does anyone think that I could do the meat in a biltong style to cure and age it, then cook it the same fashion as above to make goulash? I would of course have to figure out the spice mixture, but do you think this could at least be a starting point?

Re: Meat for Bográcsgulyás

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:32 pm
by wheels
I don't know the answer. However, it's obviously something along those lines - sort of a dried corned beef type product presumably?

Re: Meat for Bográcsgulyás

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:46 pm
by sorrydude
Thanks for the response Wheels. I unfortunately never saw how she made the meat, only the process of using it to make her goulash. I don't know how long she kept it before using it. I know that she stored it wrapped in butcher paper or wax paper that was placed inside of cookie tins and put in the pantry.

I normally make Bigos or something else using the kiełbasa my uncle makes for my father's birthday. But this year I want to try something different and make another dish from his childhood, one that he hasn't eaten for decades. Or at least a close facsimile to what he grew up eating.

Re: Meat for Bográcsgulyás

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:09 am
by badjak
Quite interesting.
I can't really help you. All I can find is that this type of goulash/gulyas used to be done with dried meat.
Wikipedia says it was cooked, spiced meat and then dried:
Its origin traces back to the 9th century to stews eaten by Hungarian shepherds.[4] At that time, the cooked and flavored meat was dried with the help of the sun and packed into bags produced from sheep's stomachs, needing only water to make it into a meal.[4] Earlier versions of goulash did not include paprika, as it was not introduced to the Old World until the 16th century.

I found some nice recipes that look to be original, but I suppose you have to be able to read Hungarian to find anything more about the dried beef
I liked this recipe ... sh-recipe/

I did find this about drying cooked beef. Maybe marinate with the spices you would use for the Gulyas and give it a try? ... eef-jerky/

Re: Meat for Bográcsgulyás

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:33 pm
by sorrydude
Thanks a lot Badjak. I think that I'll try to work out a marinade and follow the instructions from the link. I'll try making a batch just for myself once or twice before my father's birthday. My brother says that it always takes me three tries before getting things right.

I know this isn't the kind of goulash that most people are used to, but it is what my family was exposed to and have a preference for. I wish that I could read Hungarian, you are probably right that would be the only way to find information about the dried beef.