Friday Foods – Hungarian Goulash
If you do a lot of camping, a dehydrator is a great investment to help bring some of your favorite meals into the backcountry. This hearty recipe from A Fork in the Trail will be well worth the effort at home when you’re enjoying it after a hard day on the trails.
Makes 3-4 servings
1 pound stew beef
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2/3 of a medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/4 cups tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot or sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4–1/3 cup flour
1/4–1/3 cup water
2 cups broad egg noodles (uncooked measurement)
Remove all visible fat from the beef and then cut it into 1/2-inch pieces. Pour the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat and then add the meat. Brown the meat and add the chopped onion and green pepper. Cook until the onions are soft. Then add the tomato juice, salt, pepper, and paprika. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally, checking to make sure there is enough liquid to prevent the meat from sticking to the pot.
Scoop out the meat and vegetables and set them aside. Bring the sauce to a boil. While that’s simmering, pour equal amounts of flour and water in a jar with a lid. Screw the lid shut and shake well. This flour mixture is known as slurry. Stir the sauce constantly while you pour a little slurry into the pot. Continue to stir. If the sauce is not as thick as you would like, add a little more slurry. Allow it to cook for a few minutes while still stirring constantly. When the sauce has reached a gravy-like thickness, remove the pot from the heat.
Measure the goulash, and write this measurement on a sticky note. Separate the vegetables from the meat. Place the meat, sauce, and vegetables on separate lined dehydrator trays. Dehydrate the meat for 7 to 10 hours until it looks like large gravel, and dehydrate the sauce and vegetables for 6 to 8 hours or until they are dried thoroughly. Put the uncooked egg noodles in a large zip-top freezer bag. Package the meat, vegetables, and sauce in one zip-top freezer bag. Put the sauce bag inside the noodle bag along with the sticky note.
Add enough boiling water to the meat, sauce, and vegetable mix to equal the measurement on your sticky note. Be sure to account for and add your dried ingredients to the rehydration container prior to adding the water. You can always add more water if you need to.
Once all the ingredients are rehydrated, boil the noodles. Once they’re done, drain them carefully. Cover the noodles and set them aside. Pour the meat and sauce into a second pot and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce into the noodles; stir, and serve. If desired, add a little sprinkle of paprika once served.
Do not use Spanish paprika—it does not have the same depth of flavor as Hungarian paprika. This goulash recipe is also nice served over potatoes. If you prefer, you can use textured vegetable protein instead of meat.
It is important to allow dried meat a little more time to come back. If the meat for this recipe doesn’t rehydrate all the way when soaking in boiling water, simmer it for a few minutes.