Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pork goulash

I tried this Jamie Oliver recipe out the other day, and, after a few modifications, it was pretty good. I started by following the recipe to the last detail, but the finished product was pretty weak. The problem with this recipe is that it calls for water as the main cooking liquid, but the pork, peppers, and seasoning alone don't give off enough flavors in the cooking process to give the broth any body. The result is a lifeless, insipid dish, but it is easy to improve. In order to fix it, I strained out all of the solids, reduced the liquid to about 1/4 of its original volume, and then mixed some stock into this reduced mixture. (If you are trying to reduce a large volume of liquid, divide it into a couple pans) I mixed the liquid back in with all of the solid ingredients, added a couple of anchovies to give the dish a boost of savoriness, and let everything simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. The resulting dish was a huge improvement over the original. If you try this recipe out, which I would highly recommend - it's good, easy, and even better the next day - replace the water with chicken or pork stock, and add 3 or 4 anchovies. The recipe calls for it to be served over basmati rice, but I prefer to serve it over buttered egg noodles, which is the traditional accompaniment for goulash.

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