Ma Tomania’s goulash

This is another one of my favourite recipes from my book The Flesh In My Life which is available at my shop Mondos in Beaufort Street, Inglewood and other good stockists.

Those of you with more than 50,000 meals under your belt might also remember the Court Café on the corner of Barrack and James Street.

I remember as if it was yesterday, because you don’t forget stomach memories.

Thank you Ma Tomania for sharing your recipe and feeding me and my brothers all those years ago.

Serves 8

2 kg beef chuck cubes (3 x 3 cm)
350 g onions, finely diced
600 g red capsicums, seeded and diced 2 cm
500 g onions, half-moons sliced 1/2 cm thick
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons sweet paprika
250 ml full-bodied red wine
WA lake salt

Wash the meat and drain it in a colander for two minutes. (Do not ask why, just do it, as it is part of the secret.)

Put the meat into a pot, no lid, and cook with a brisk flame on its own.

Add nothing, but stir occasionally for about 20 minutes until the meat looks cooked and is swimming in lots of juice.

Now strain the juice and add the tomato paste to it.

Give it a good stir and set aside to rest until later.

Cook the strained meat for a further two minutes or more until the bottom of the pot is dry of any juice.

Add the oil and finely diced onion, then fry while stirring.

After 10 minutes, add the red capsicums and a generous serving of salt. (Why now and why generous? Well, that is a secret too.)

Stir well. After five minutes add the sliced onions, paprika, and red wine.

Again stir well, then add the meat juice with tomato paste that was set aside earlier, along with enough water to completely submerge all the meat.

Lower the flame to a simmer and allow the goulash to cook slowly, without a lid, until the meat is tender to Ma’s liking, approximately two hours.

Stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Serve the goulash with mashed potato.

Buon appetito!

Letters to…Vince Garreffa

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