Oh those chilly days are here, the dark evenings come more quickly and snow might even flitter down some day soon. What's better on a chilly night than a hot dish of a stew or the like? Well, a warm-you-up goulash is just the right kind of meal and is so easy to pull together. This version uses pork and although I have made lovely spaetzli to go along with this, I'm loving buttery egg noodles with it for a quicker and just as delicious alternative. Sometimes I add more vegetables, other times I stick with just the bell peppers and onions. If serving this with egg noodles I recommend tossing the hot noodles with plenty of butter, and a generous sprinkling of freshly-ground black pepper and coarse salt (same for the spaetzli actually). Whatever cut of pork you use - go for more rather thanless fatty - with a good, long simmer the pork will break down to melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) lard, or butter. A little bacon fat won't hurt either.
- 4 cups (1000 ml) halved and sliced onion (about 1 pound)
- 4 pounds (1.8 kg) pork, cut into 1.5 to 2-inch cubes
- 1 to 3 tablespoons (15 ml to 45 ml) paprika, depending on your taste
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped garlic
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) flour
- 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) chicken broth
- 2 cups (500 ml) cored, seeded red, green or other coloured bell peppers, cut into 1-inch strips, approximately
- 2 cups (500 ml) chopped or sliced carrots (optional)
- 1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or plain yoghurt, room temperature, optional
Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
Heat the lard, oil or butter in a Dutch oven or deep, heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until soft.
Add the pork and stir well. Cook, stirring often, until the meat loses its pink colour.
Add the paprika and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the garlic, salt and pepper. Stir and add the flour. Stir to coat the meat well. .
Add the chicken broth. Stir. Bring to a boil. Stir.
If adding any other vegetables, such as carrots, add at this point. Stir.
Cover with lid and place in the oven.
Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, bring a small to medium-sized pot of water to boil and drop the sliced bell peppers into the boiling water. Blanch for 15 seconds and remove. Drain immediately and set aside.
Thirty minutes before the stew is fully cooked, sprinkle with the strips of bell pepper. Continue cooking until the meat is tender.
If using the sour cream or yoghurt add when the stew is cooked. It's best if you whisk it a little before adding to the stew. Alternatively, serve the sour cream or yoghurt separately at the table.
Serve with the egg noodles, rice, potatoes or spaetzli.