Hungary for Stew - Goulash
The following is my entry for Newbie Iron Chef Something Awful 14 of the Goons With Spoons forum of Something Awful.
I actually won!
I was chatting with my best (read: only) friend last week.
Chatlog with Contrapants
Contrapants: Aren't you doing another cooking contest?
Contrapants: Yeah. I really should get on that.
Contrapants: Dude, you put it off to the last minute every time. Just fucking do it already
Contrapants: But putting things off is my "thing."
Contrapants: No it's not. Shut the fuck up
Contrapants: I'm going to spam dilz pics at you until you log out
Contrapants: That won't work.
Contrapants: You're trying to run me off the web through a pun?
Contrapants: Go ahead. Send me your pickle pics.
Contrapants has logged out.
I thought about what to make, but I couldn't come up with anything. I asked my friend for inspiration.
Chatlog with Contrapants
Contrapants: I'm working on it
Contrapants: I can't think of what to make
Contrapants: You mentioned trying stew in your dutch oven a while ago. Do that.
Contrapants: That takes a long time, and I'm kind of hungary
Contrapants: Not this time...
Contrapants: I already know what you're thinking
Contrapants: Get back to work
Of all the stews there are to stew, goulash is probably my favorite. I get it at the diner all the time. It's about time I tried to make it myself.
There's one thing I require of good goulash: good egg noodles.
Contrapants's Brain at the Grocery Store
Brain: $6 for noodles! Fuck that. You're making them.
Contrapants: We've made pasta from scratch before. Don't you remember the ravioli incident?
Brain: I don't remember that, but we can just buy plain noodles and egg wash them ourselves.
Contrapants: I'm pretty sure there's more to it than that.
Brain: No there isn't.
Contrapants: How can I remember something you don't? That's impossible!
Brain: Oh yeah! I'm your mind.
Brain: Egg noodles are just noodles with egg wash.
Contrapants: Really!? No way!
Contrapants: $6! Fuck that. I'm making them.
At home, I realized there's no way I can get an even egg wash over an entire pound of noodles. I went online and searched how to do it.
Contrapants: Bad news. I was right about the egg noodles.
Contrapants: Finally a good idea.
Hungarian Goulash: Part 1: Egg Noodles: Part 1: Too Many Heading Colons
Egg noodles are essentially pasta noodles, using eggs instead of water.
First, we need all-purpose flour, 4 eggs, and salt.
Combine 2.5 cups of flour and a little less than a tablespoon of salt. Mix your eggs together in a separate bowl.
Make a well, pour in the eggs, and mash together with your hands until thoroughly combined.
Wrap in plastic wrap. Let sit for three hours.
Conversation with Contrawife
Contrawife: I invited Friend 1 and Friend 2 over for dinner tonight for the True Detective finale.
Contrapants: OK. I think I can extend dinner to be for four people.
Contrawife: We can just order pizza if you want.
Contrapants: *icy glare*
Contrapants: *Points to kitchen* There will be goulash.
Contrawife: What are you typing?
Hungarian Goulash: Part 2: Bread Bowls: Part 1: Seriously Wearing Out My Colon Key
To make white bread bowls, gather the usual suspects: bread flour, sugar, olive oil, salt, and yeast.
My usual recipe is:
- 240g water
- 320g flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp yeast
This usually gets me two small boules. I doubled the recipe for four boules.
First, add the yeast to warm water.
Let it revitalize and get foamy. Repress the urge to yell, "It's alive!" at the top of your lungs again. The neighbors no longer find it funny.
Add the other ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
Knead on a floured counter top. Don't touch your camera during the step.
Oil the bowl. Return the dough to the bowl as a smooth, sexy ball. Roll around to coat in oil.
Cover loosely in plastic wrap and set aside.
Hungarian Goulash: Part 3: Hungarian Goulash: Part 1: Actually Starting to Make Dinner
Finally, we're at the meat and potatoes of the dish.
When researching how to make goulash, I learned that it's very much like chili: no one agrees what's in it, but their way is the right way. The beans in chili argument is analogous to tomatoes in goulash. I combined what I liked into my Hungarian gumbo.
- All-purpose Flour
- Olive Oil
- White Mushrooms
- White Onion
- Red Potatoes
- Stewing Beef because your grocery store never has anything else
- Caraway Seed
- Beef Broth because you forgot to refrigerate your stock ( Whiskey!)
Side note: The cookie tin is full of the same all-purpose flour pictured before. It just didn't fit in the tin until I took some out to make the noodles. In my house, "bread flour" is in the "flour" tin and "cookie flour" is in the "cookies" tin.
Rinse and dry the meat. Dust with salt and flour.
Chop up your onion and "mince" your garlic. Feel free to actually mince the garlic if you actually have any knife skills.
Sweat your onion and garlic with a little salt and olive oil in a dutch oven. Allow a tiny bit to burn because you were too busy fucking around with your camera.
Once the onion is floppy, realize that nothing actually burned; you just can't interpret your pictures correctly.
Add your meat.
Time to add the paprika You will only need a pinch.
To add a pinch, get your thumbnail under the lid and pinch the top.
There we go.
A suitable amount of paprika.
Add caraway seed.
Start browning the meat.
Oops! You almost forgot the paprika!
The first container was sweet paprika. The second was smoked paprika.
Chop and add the mushrooms.
Contain your arousal.
Peel and chop the red potatoes. Add to the pot.
Add the beef broth. Feel your pants strain.
Lid the dutch oven. Run into another room for some alone time.
Hungarian Goulash: Part 4: Egg Noodles: Part 2: Electric Boogaloo
Flour the counter.
Put your dough into the center of the frame. Realize that, due to the lack of light bulbs in your kitchen, it looks like you are interrogating the dough.
WHO IS THE YELLOW KING!?
The dough didn't talk.
Roll your dough into the approximate shape of New York.
I could only get the dough down to about 1/8 of an inch thick. It kept springing back into place. I like my noodles a little thick, so I was OK with this.
Cut the dough into ribbons. Let sit until you're ready to boil.
Hungarian Goulash: Part 5: Bread Bowls: Part 2: I Have No Light, So The Electric Boogaloo Joke Made No Sense
Like a newlywed, the bread dough has ballooned to twice its original size.
Tare your scale.
Remove the dough to learn how much your dough weighs.
1128g / 4bowls = 282g/bowl
Shape into balls.
Argue with Friend 1 about the bra cup size of your dinner. Don't try to use the women in the room as a reference. You will get caught staring again.
Turn on your oven to 450F.
Once heated, slash a cross in the top of the boules and toss on the pizza stone, dusting with corn meal. Pour water into a pan you had preheating in the oven to humidify it. Realize that you neglected to mention the pan before, but refuse to edit your post.
Let them bake for 25 minutes. You don't want them to be raw in the center again, and you want to the crust to be crisp so broth won't leak everywhere.
At the halfway point, pour more water into the pan. Once you see that it doesn't instantly steam, pour more water directly on the floor of the oven. Learn that the stone really is shatter resistant when you fuck up and pour the water directly on it.
Take out your bowls-to-be and let sit on a cooling rack.
Chatlog with Contrapants
Contrapants: Prepare for incoming dildo pic
Contrapants: Relax. I'm cooking.
Contrapants: I spent entirely too much time making the noodles.
Contrapants: I really don't want to have them stick together. Think I need a lot of water?
Contrapants: Just use the biggest pot you have
Contrapants: If everyone is hungry, ignore them
Contrapants: You still there?
Contrapants: Sorry. I was looking in the kitchen for a big pot.
Contrapants: You won't believe this. It has a built in colander!
Hungarian Goulash: Part 6: Egg Noodles: Part 3: Learning What a Lobster Pot is
Find out your magical colander pot takes an ungodly long time to come to a boil. Learn that the colander doesn't go all the way to the bottom, so you can't use it anyway.
I'm going to assume GWS knows how to boil noodles.
Chatlog with Contrapants
Contrapants: How is it?
Contrapants: I'm about to plate it now.
Contrapants: I'm not on the WiFi. How are you talking to me?
Contrapants: This isn't IRC. How am I in notepad?
Chatlog with Contrapants
Contrapants: Don't worry about it
Contrapants: Go eat
Contrapants: We can talk about your issues later
Hungarian Goulash_ Part 7_ Hungarian Goulash_ Part 2_ My Colon Key Fled My Keyboard While My Back Was Turned
Cut out the top of the bowl with a sharp bread knife. Fill with ejaculate-inducing tastiness. Top with a dollop of sour cream (not ejaculate).
So how was it?
The smoked paprika added something I never had in a stew before. We all loved it! Coupled with the sour cream, this really was the perfect comfort food. I love stew and paprika; my wife practically drinks sour cream. Combining them all was delicious.
I've read that homemade noodles only take 2-4 minutes. Mine still took 10-14 minutes, probably due to their thickness. If you like a thinner noodle, either divide the dough into two halves before letting it rest, or wait for it to rest after rolling and roll it again. Before it comes up, I will never let myself buy a pasta roller when I have a rolling pin. I don't make homemade pasta enough to warrant it.
I'm sorry for the "dramatic" lighting. When I started, the sun was still up, so taking pictures was simple. Later, due to owning no light bulbs, I set up a tripod for multi-second exposures. I think the pictures came out well, though.
I make fun of my friends for being hipsters, and then they walked in on me setting up an SLR to take pictures of my food for the Internet. On the plus side, they finally got to use the word irony correctly against me for the first time.