I remember the first time I had goulash. It was my first summer at sleep-away camp, dinner on Thursday night was goulash, red meaty sauce and noodles. I loved it. Then as I was trying to decide what I was going to cook tonight, with grandparents in town it had to be something extra special, Mom suggested I make a goulash recipe she had torn out of a magazine years ago. I thought goulash was the best idea ever.
Which put us here, and now. Dad is working on his trademark apple crisp for dessert and we have the dough for dumplings resting in the corner. Memma (our name for our grandma) is playing checkers with Cyrus, and we're all snacking on some cheese and paté that we picked up while we were shopping earlier.
Dad's apple crisp is coming along well and the dough has rested for it's requisite hour. The onions are having a little trouble caramelizing simply because there's so many of them. The dough for our dumplings has been kneaded and now gets to rise for the next hour and a half. We're now working on cubing the meat for the goulash.
We're really having a lot of trouble getting those onions to caramelize. right now we have three separate skillets on the stove with onions in them, Memma has been designated the chief onion caramelizer and is standing over them, stirring and trying to get the darned things to caramelize.
We got the onions to caramelize and now the meat is browning (also in three separate pots) a few moments ago Dad and I set out on a monumental task. Peeling and crushing 22 cloves of garlic. Thats not a typo, 22 cloves of garlic. It's a lot of garlic. In a few moments all the garlic will go into the three pots on the stove that have the pork browning (and sizzling, you can hear it upstairs).
All the meat went into one pot, the onions went in too, then the 22 garlic cloves, followed by the paprika and tomato paste, then the beef stock went in, followed by the caraway seeds, the marjoram, and the salt and pepper. Now the orange Le Creuset pot filled to the brim with orange (from the paprika and tomato paste)juices and meat will simmer away for the next two and half hours.
We just got to stab the dumpling. After we boiled the dumpling for 13 minutes we pulled it out of the water, and immediately stabbed it three times on both sides of the loaf. It was kinda fun, and no I didn't actually get sent to an anger management class. Now we get to eat!
The pork was wonderful, and when doused in the paprika sauce, which just exploded on our mouths, the pork was absolutely amazing. The dumpling was surprisingly bland, though, like the pork, when covered in plenty of the sauce it was amazingly flavorful. Dad and I were both interested and amazed by this meal. It was a lesson in the power of paprika.
And Dad's apple crisp? Amazing as ever. He has the apple crisp down to a science.