Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Fuckupping Gourmet Episode 1: Goulash

I looked at a recipe for how to make this for like five minutes and just decided to "go for it."

Having eaten goulash before, I knew that it is often served with dumplings, spaetzle, or potatoes. Gee, guess which one I decided to make:



Now, to the elderly and infirm, these will look like "boiled spuds. However, the true epicurean will know that these are to be roasted after being par-boiled (talk about a hole in one! This'll be an eagle of a meal!) After I boiled these I drained them and set them aside. Potatoes and I go way back, and they were a steadfast ally throughout this ordeal.

So, as far as the goulash, you will need some other stuff. First and foremost, you will need a big ol' hunka meat. I bought a chuck roast from one of those hoop-dee-doo natural food markets in town, which I cut thusly:



Usually a chuck roast comes wrapped in the trimmings from one of those useless, loose-woven blankets from your grandma's house. I cut the shit out of that though, and I also cut the fuck out of that chuck. Not pictured is the tidal seepage of blood that came off of that roast, despite it being wrapped with one of those meat maxi pads. This thing was bleeding worse than one of the boils on my ass after I've picked and picked and picked at it. The amount of this beefy excretion was a harbinger of things to come, so DON'T FORGET.

You will also need onions:



These ones are sprouted. I just read a book saying that using the green part (called the "germ," which I'm pretty sure the author made up just to scare people) causes stocks and sauces to become bitter. I think the author was just bitter about not getting someone's tongue on his balls lately.

Next, a fat nug of tomato paste:



I can't remember if I actually ended up using this. During my cursory reading of the recipe, I somehow came to the conclusion that the use of tomato in this recipe was heretical. So, use this if you want to rot in hell.

To bolster the tomato paste, I decided to add harissa. This is basically pureed peppers with oil and spices. It was kind of just sitting in my cupboard. Again, I decided to "go for it."

Also, I put in a bay leaf, some rosemary, and some caraway. It's somewhere in one of those tins seen below:



Just to be sure that my harissa gambit would pay off, I gave it a taste test.




Alright, time to "go for it." First, we need to brown that meat. I put some oil in my pan over medium-high heat. I recommend a Dutch oven because, as we all know, if you ain't Dutch, you're not going to get even browning, consistent heat retention, and proper condensation of steam. You will know that the oil is heated when it gives off thin wisps of smoke. Not like it matters, because it's all fucking downhill from here. Go ahead and throw the meat in, if you're the kind of person who likes the tangy sensation of hot tar on your nipples.

Now, the whole fucking point of this exercise is to get the meat browned. But since my beef was a soggy pile of gore, it did this:



It basically wet itself in the pan, soaking its meaty drawers in disgrace. I was aghast. You can't brown shit in a juicy pan. Can't be done. Fucking forget it, just "go for" some Hot Pockets.

As John F. Kennedy said, "the Chinese character for 'crisis' is the same as the character for 'opportunity.'" He was 100% wrong, but it's a nice thought. Cursing all the way, I fired up a cast iron skillet with some oil and fished out the deplorable beef from its liquid leavings. I also poured the juice into a bowl because that beef juice would be a decent flavoring agent. Mad as hell, I resolved to brown that beef come hell or high(er) water.

AW FUCK THE ONIONS GO GO GO GO GO



WAIT NOW I HAVE TO BOIL FLOUR IN A PAN WITH WATER AND THE HARISSA OKAY GO

OKAY PUT ALL THAT SHIT IN THE PAN AND GET A COVER ON IT BEFORE YOU REALLY GET IT MAD




Give your goulash some space for about two hours.

After you've roasted your potatoes, throw it all together. And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make:



That's a Beatles song, btw

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