Saturday, December 27, 2014

Recipe: Five Pepper Goulash

This is one of my winter favourites and much loved in my household; you really want to take as long as possible to cook it to mature the flavours.

Gochujang (Korean malted red pepper paste) is my secret ingredient for this dish and while it seems out of place in a European dish it adds a richness to the pepper flavour and brings instant umame - you can buy it at most Asian supermarkets in large tubs. If you can't find it you should substitute Red Pepper Relish or 3 tbpsn of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tbspn of sugar to ensure the same savoury depth.

Five Pepper Goulash

500g beef
4 strips bacon and/or 2 tbspn purified bacon grease
1 brown onion
2 gloves garlic
2 capsicum (bell pepper)
2 fresh chilies (birds eye)
2 tbspn smoked paprika
1 tbspn red chilli flakes
2  tbspn gochujang
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 small tin (170g) tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine
oil for frying
salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream


  • In a large stock pot heat a pool of oil the size of your palm. Dice the onion and add to the pot then cook on a medium heat until the onions have sweated
  • Dice the bacon and fry with the onion, if you keep bacon grease on hand you can use this in place of the bacon since we only want the smoke infusion. 
  • If you're feeling indulgent you can also subsitute the bacon for chorizo which adds more paprika with the pork flavour.
  • Dice the bell pepper and fresh chilli and fry with the onion / bacon mix until softened
  • Mince or finely chop the garlic and add to the vegetable mix
  • Cube the beef into bite sized chunks and add to the pot, stir occasionally on medium heat until the meat is browned
  • Once the beef is cooked add the dried peppers - the chilli flakes and smoked paprika. Stir fry until the chilli is fragrant and the meat well coated.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and stir well, once incorporated add the beef stock, tomato paste, gochujang and red wine in that order. Don't be tempted to add them all at once, you want each ingredient to add to the mixture before adding the next.
  • Leave to simmer for around 20 minutes and then taste, this ensures that the tomato paste is cooked down and the alcohol is cooked out of the wine.
  • Season with salt, pepper and if desired more smoked paprika then leave to simmer on a low heat for as long as possible - 2 - 4 hours is ideal.
  • If too much of the liquid boils off add 1 cup of water or a low sodium beef stock to the pot and continue to simmer.
  • Turn the heat off for 5 mins before serving. If you like a creamy goulash add the sour cream and fold gently through the sauce or serve as I have with 1-2 tbspns on top of each serving. 
  • Serve on top of buttered noodles, mashed potato or with hot sliced bread. Garnish with small bell pepper slices and sprinkle with smoked paprika. 

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