Ok, that is a preposterous claim to make, but this goulash is REALLY REALLY REALLY good, and calling it the best just sounds better, don’t you think?
The polar vortex might be over, but temperatures are still frigid here in Boston, which means all I want to do is bundle up with my cats and all the blankets and a Game of Thrones marathon.
When that isn’t possible, a steaming hot bowl of this vegan Hungarian goulash at least makes me feel like I’m bundled up with my cats and all the blankets and a Game of Thrones marathon.
Goulash is the most warming, cozy winter stew you can imagine. The secret lies in the sweet Hungarian paprika—a whole 1/4 cup goes into the pot and creates a rich flavor that is sweet, earthy, and peppery all at once.
I veganized this recipe from Saveur, substituting seitan and Portobello mushrooms for the beef and tweaking a few other things. A bit of wine adds depth, and a bed of pasta makes the stew even heartier—and reminds me of how my German grandmother used to serve it. This recipe will feed a small army or two teenage boys for days, and just gets better with age.
Whether you make my version or the original, it is absolutely necessary to use sweet Hungarian paprika; paprikas come from all over the world and the taste varies by origin.
What You Need:
- 1 lb. wide ribbon noodles
- 2 tbsp. sunflower or canola oil
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 1 8oz. package of seitan, drained and cut into bite-size pieces
- 6 Portobello caps, cut into 1″ cubes
- salt and pepper to taste (for the best flavor, use Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper)
- 1/4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
- 2 tsp. dried marjoram
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces (a mild potato, like Yukon Gold, works best)
- 1 red bell pepper or Italian frying pepper, diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup dry red wine (or more broth/water)
- 1 tomato, cored and chopped
- 2 tsp. cornstarch mixed until dissolved in 1 tbsp. water
What You Do:
Break the ribbon noodles into thirds and cook according to package directions. Set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and seitan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the seitan has lightly browned and the onions are translucent, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the onions and seitan from the pot and set aside.
Return the empty pot to the stove and heat a second tbsp. oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes. When juicy and beginning to soften, stir in the garlic, paprika, marjoram, carrots, and peppers. Sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 2-5 more minutes.
Add the potatoes, onions, seitan, and tomatoes, then pour in the broth, wine, and cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve over noodles with a crusty peasant bread for dipping. Savor and realize that you need winter to last another 3 months so you can keep eating goulash.
What are you doing/eating to keep warm until spring kicks in?