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  Comments (0) Total Sunday Apr. 20, 2014
 
German Goulash Soup
Side Dish
Photo courtesy Katie White
A few months ago at the FVCC Chef’s Table dinner, our theme was “A Taste of Germany.”

The first course was German Goulash Soup. This brought back fond memories of my apprenticeship in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

New Year’s Eve day, I had the honor of helping with the preparation of this soup for midnight New Year’s Eve.

As I learned, the most important step was making the brown roux. Since I was the only American working in the brigade at the Suvretta-House, and I was also the low person on the totem pole, I was assigned to prepare this wonderful brown roux.

Because of the elevation, the stoves were oil-fueled, with heat the intensity of steel mills.

I’ve never cooked on stoves so hot and it wasn’t long before my chef’s coat was soaked through!

I started this roux over the red burning hot top, but the trick was to cool it down so as not to scorch the flour.

This meant taking the pot outside in the deep freezing cold and snow, and stirring it until the roux cooled – just to take it back inside and start the procedure all over again.

By maybe the fourth time, I had the final product – a beautiful dark brown roux. I can remember my chef’s coat freezing with me in it.

Ah, the good old days.

And mind you, I was only 18 at the time! I made the roux, but wasn’t permitted to make the soup. It was my chef and higher positioned cooks who would finish this traditional New Year’s Day dish.

Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. caraway seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tbsp. spicy Hungarian paprika
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. dried marjoram leaves
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 lbs. beef shank, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

PROCEDURE
Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.

To brown the roux, add three tablespoons olive oil to a pot and heat over medium fire.

Add the flour and, with a wooden spoon, mix the flour and oil together. The roux should be stiff and come away from the edges of the pot.

Place pot with roux into the oven and allow to brown evenly, stirring occasionally.

Heat chicken stock on stovetop. When roux has turned brown, place pot onto stove and add half chicken stock while mixing the roux to a smooth liquid with a wooden spoon.

Add the remaining stock, and use a whisk to stir until smooth.

Let the sauce come to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

Whisk tomato paste into sauce and simmer for a half-hour.

In a separate soup pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and start to brown beef cubes.

Add onions and sugar until and cook until caramelized.

Add garlic and caraway seeds and cook for a couple of minutes, then add paprikas, thyme , marjoram and bay leaf. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant.

Deglaze pan with vinegar and wine.

Add the sauce thru a strainer into the soup pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Cook until very tender (about two hours), stirring occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper.

Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!
 
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