In Germanic and Eastern European cookbooks, they expect you to already know “the basics” of traditional cooking, and the instructions are often blunt with little direction of what to expect or what you’re aiming for.
One of “the basics” you’ll be expected to know is the traditional Goulash Spices. I personally love it because it’s one of those universal spices that can be added to anything savoury that you’re cooking and it will goulash it. Continue reading →
I love family recipes. They are different from national/regional and traditional recipes because they are unique to each family.
Normally this might make you think of a stereotypical Italian family where everyone says, “Ah, but I miss the way my Mama used to make this dish”, and it is passed down from generation to generation; but I have brushed with this myself when I tried to make Kartofelgulasch (Austrian potato goulash) for my partner. He’s Austrian (surprise!) and Austrians have a very strong (and tasty) culinary identity and history.
It’s become something of an obsession of mine to try and recreate my partner’s family dishes – not just to surprise him, but also out of curiosity, and we get to eat the whole lot regardless (yum!). I tried to make it as per the traditional recipe – lots of onions, equal amounts of potatoes, the whole pot of paprika, dry-cured sausages, beef stock and goulash spices – but when I presented it eagerly and expectantly to my partner, he said:
“This is tasty, but this isn’t Kartofelgulasch from my childhood”.
And I was utterly stumped. I checked the recipe again and used a different sausage, convinced that maybe this would be the cause.
Continue reading →