I know you lot are no doubt chronic carnivores but this recipe fooled my dad for many years, not an easy feat since he ate real goulash at least weekly since he cut teeth. He died never knowing it wasn't meat! He loved it so much I sprinkled paprika on his grave and make this every year on his birthday.
Now that I've depressed the crap out of you, here's the recipe for:
Fake Goulash/Falosny Gulas)
NB 1 - Try to get your hands on the really good imported Hungarian paprika, the so called sweet paprika. With so few ingredients it's imperative to get the best you can find. Don't use the stuff that's been on the spice rack for 5 years!
NB 2 - Yes, the TVP does smell a bit like kibble but stay with me people! It transforms into something tasty!
NB 3 - The Maggi and paprika amounts are really guess-timates. Start with small amounts and keep adding.
a tablespoon of fat(in the old country it was always drippings or duck fat - use oil, butter, lard - just no margarine)
1 large onion, finely chopped
*1 clove garlic, finely chopped(optional)
1 tin(58 ml) tomato paste
30 ml paprika(at least - the Magyar in me can't get enough)
2.0 litres boiling water(aprx)
2 large potatoes, diced medium
3 carrots, medium chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 cup of TVP chunks(texturized vegetable protein) - if you don't know what it is or where to find it ask the local hippies
15 - 30 ml **Maggi seasoning
*sprinkle of caraway seeds(optional)
To a heated pot add: fat, onion, garlic. Cook over low heat until translucent and lightly caramelised. Now stir in the tomato paste and enough boiling water to moisten(roughly 50ml) Cook for a minute or so until it starts to absorb, then add paprika and stir thoroughly.
***Add potatoes, stir. ***Add carrots, stir. ***Add green pepper, stir. When everything is mixed together, add the TVP, then the boiling water. Give the whole mess a good stir, then add 15ml Maggi. Stir again. Taste it and see if it needs more. Bring to a vigorous boil, then let simmer for an hour or two, adding water if needed, until all veggies are tender. (I sometimes make this in my rice cooker which is perfect for that - I guess a crock pot/slow cooker would work too) Taste again and adjust seasonings if needed. Maggi is what gives it the beef flavour and you need to suit it to your taste buds. I always end up adding more paprika, but again, that's to your taste. I've sometimes used a 1/4 cup of the stuff ifnnot more! If you want some more zing, add hot paprika or to taste. This stuff, like all goulash tastes better after being reheated a few times so don't fret over leftovers!
**If you can't get Maggi use beef bouillon cubes or replace the boiling water with beef stock.
***I guess you could dump them all in at once but my grandmother told me you have to make three additions to symbolise the Holy Trinity. Not like I'm religious but I do it anyway!
Serve with a nice bottle of Egri Bikaver if you want to be all classy like, but since Scott wants "umph" wash it down with Palinka(apricot brandy), Slivovica(plum brandy) or my "girly drink:"
For each drink:
1 can Dr. Pepper
2 shots Slivovica
I call it the Bratislava Bomb!