Goulash was a meat dish my grandmother used to cook for us quite often. It was one of the few meat dishes I liked. Then I turned vegetarian and forgot about it. When I visited Hungary for the first time I learned that there was a difference between goulash and goulash. What we Germans use to call goulash (a thick stew with meat chunks in it) is actually called pörkölt in Hungary. Hungarian goulash on the other side, is a soup.
My grandmother also made pörkölt and called it goulash and I am following her tradition here. Another (maybe German, I don’t know) tradition is to serve this dish over pasta, usually fusilli pasta (called spirelli in German). In this case, I broke with the tradition and used whole wheat penne. (Oh, and should I mention that I broke with the whole meat dish tradition, too?)
My grandmother died nine years ago and I never asked her how she prepared her goulash. So, with the help of internet search engines I tried to come up with my own recipe.
Because my Hungarian host mother used to make gombás pörkölt (mushroom pörkölt) for me I added some mushrooms, too. I really liked the result. This is a hearty and chewy stew that will satisfy you, if you are really hungry. It’s probably not the best meal for a hot day, but if you are having lots of rain like we do, you can sqeeze it in on a rainy and lazy Sunday.
This goulash requires some preparation (i.e you have to soak some TVP beforehand) but most of the work is inactive.
Goulash (serves four) ( adapted from this version)
2 cups texturized vegetable protein (use big chunks)
2 cups hot vegetable broth
1 t vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
2 green onions, chopped into small rings
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
200 g mushrooms (2 cups), sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
60 ml (1/4 cup) red wine (or vegetable broth)
1/4 l (1 cup) soaking liquid from TVP (see above)
3 T tomato paste
1 T vegan Worcestersauce
1 t smoked paprika
1 t Hungarian paprika
1 t dried thyme
1 T soy sauce
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 T soy creamer ( optional, adds a little bit of creaminess)
Place the texturized vegetable protein (TVP) in a bowl and cover with hot vegetable broth. Cover and let sit for 2-3 hours. Drain the TVP chunks and reserve the liquid.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and fry onion and green onion for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add peppers and mushrooms and fry for another 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir, and fry for 2-3 more minutes. Add soaked TVP chunks. Turn down the heat to medium-low.
Add the wine to your pot. Dissolve tomato paste in 1 cup of soaking liquid and add as well. Also add Worcestersauce, smoked and Hungarian paprika, thyme, and soy sauce. Stir well and add potato. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes. Add more cooking liquid if mixture seems to dry. (You are aiming at a thick stew with not too much liquid.) Right before serving stir in soy creamer if using and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over your favourite pasta. (Use short pasta only.)