Authentic Czech-Slovak Gluten-Free Goulash

My mother’s family is Bohemian. My great-aunt Mary Skiba came over on the boat. We lived in a tight knit community where most of the neighbors shared our heritage. Growing up, I didn’t know that we ate different than others. When we went to church on Easter to have our food blessed, most people had the same items in their baskets. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized the richness of the Easter European culture I was raised in. Haluski, pierogi,  and Kolachy (prounounced hall-oosh-kee, pear-o-he and coe-lahtch-kee) were everyday words in my family.

We didn’t eat things from boxes. We cooked and we cooked a lot.

When I met my husband, worlds collided. He was from the south where grits, greens, and lots of spice and flavor lived. He thought my food was bland. Admittedly, it was.

He hated my mother’s goulash.

I didn’t know any better. But then I learned that of all the wonderful things my mother made, her goulash was indeed awful. She made it with ground beef, green pepper, pasta, and ketchup.

This recipe is dedicated to my husband who now likes my goulash and was very upset that I took it to the Goulash Cook Off in Czech Village. He was upset he only got one bowl and a bunch of strangers ate the rest. :). Much thanks goes to him for teaching me how to amp up my cooking, how to give my dishes depth, and how to use herbs and spices beyond salt and pepper.

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Mich’s Gluten-Free Goulash

2-3lb beef roast (venison can also be used, or a mixture)
Paprika (a mixture of smoked and Hungarian)
Coconut oil or bacon grease (I used a little of both)
a few good sized yellow onions
a head of roasted garlic
a few roasted peppers, I used a green pepper, a red pepper, a couple of Hungarian peppers, and a couple jalapeno peppers
My secret ingredient: a pint of home-canned roasted New Mexico Hatch chile peppers (if you don’t have these, you can add a can of green chiles. The flavor won’t be exactly like mine, but it will still be good)
2 quarts of tomatoes (I used fresh from the garden, peeled tomatoes, but will substitute my homegrown and home-canned tomatoes when fresh aren’t available)
2 quarts beef stock (I make my own so store bought broth can be substituted, but again, it will change the flavor drastically)
Fresh ground caraway seeds
Marjoram
Cayenne pepper
Pink Himalayan salt
Fresh ground black pepper

**note** I’ve linked to techniques like searing meat, roasting peppers, roasting g

arlic, etc… just in case you don’t know how to do those things. Don’t get intimidated, they’re all very simple, but take a little time. This makes a very large batch, enough to freeze for those days when you just can’t cook. Quart freezer bags work wonderful and take up very little space. Cut the recipe in half if you don’t want to freeze some for later.

 

1. Cube the roast, coat it in paprika, melt a couple tablespoons of oil, and sear the meat. (Searing means cooking it at a higher temperature and browning the outside, leaving the inside uncooked.) As the small batches are finished, put them into a stew pot.

Gluten free Goulash

 

2. While you’re working on searing all that meat, roast your peppers and garlic.

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3.  Once all the meat is finished searing, in the same pan add a little more oil and caramelize the onions.

4.  Put the onions into the stew pot and deglaze the meat/onion pan with some stock. Pour all of that yummy goodness into the stew pot.

5. Add the rest of the ingredients. I like caraway seeds, so I crush them in my mortar and pestle and I add a tablespoon or so. You might like less. Same with the marjoram.

 

6.  Add the remaining ingredients to the stew pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer for a few hours (until the meat is tender and falling apart and does not need to be cut with a knife.)

This picture below shows the pot of goulash as well as a pot of potatoes boiling. I tried to make potato dumplins to eat with the goulash because a real serving of goulash needs some bread dumplings. But I’m gluten free, so I tried potatoes. They did not work well, I ended up smashing them and making fried potato pancakes. Now that was good. Today, I made another batch of goulash and ate it over brown rice. That was also satifying.

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Pickling Spice Recipe

No additives. No preservatives. No MSG.   Nothing but real food and goodness.

pickling spice

I’ve tweaked this recipe to my version of perfection!

Pickling Spice

2 cinnamon sticks (crushed)

5 bay leaves

6 tablespoons mustard seed

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorn

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 teaspoon mace

1 teaspoon dill seed

1 teaspoon ground ginger

6 teaspoons corriander seed

3 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Menu Plan Monday–April 20

Starting March 2nd, We’re going to give this a shot. I used to be so good at planning meals and something happened–and then I found out by way of a food journal, my system doesn’t tolerate MSG–so I’m making thing from scratch to avoid the nasty stuff!

And since we’re moving soon, I also would like to need to empty out the abundance from my freezer and pantry. I’m going to try to GOING to spend less than $15 a week for my grocery budget in April and probably the first two weeks of May. WISH ME LUCK! LOL

* * *

Not so good this week. Spent double the budget. Sure, that’s only $30 instead of $15 but it was well worth it to get some fresh fruits and veggies and the makings for potato salad and carrot raisin salad. Recipes below! My friend, Toni, made the carrot raisin salad for lunch one Creative Day and I’ve been craving it–so I found a recipe and tweaked it.

Our grandbaby might be coming Wednesday. Jess has an ultrasound and the doctor will decide if she want to induce on Wednesday or the following Monday. I’m going to plan the week just in case.

We rented a condo with a full kitchen down by Jess so I’ll need to make a plan for the week we’re with her. My parents stay here to watch the dogs so I’ll need to pull some food from the deep freeze to the kitchen freezer for them.

I can’t believe this is all happening so soon!!

Monday–ham and beans from the freezer, fresh cornbread

Tuesday–Haluski (Polish comfort food–noodles and cabbage with butter!)

Wednesday–Beef stir fry (with leftover steak from last week)

Thursday–Leftovers

Friday–Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, potato salad, carrot raisin salad

Saturday–Grilled pork chops

Sunday–If the baby’s not induced Wednesday, we’ll be leaving early in the morning today!

Michelle’s Potato Salad

  • About 10-13 medium russet potatoes, skins on, diced small
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs, diced really tiny
  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (real Mayo!! Not Miracle Whip)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 large chopped sweet onion
  • 3 large celery ribs
  • 1 large chopped dill pickle
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (optional)

1. Wash and chop potatoes, boil until tender (but not falling apart!) then rinse in cold water for about 5 minutes. Shake excess water away and dump back in pot.

2. While the potatoes are boiling, you can boil your eggs. Unless you thought ahead and boiled them previously. Or have leftover Easter eggs. Of course, if you’re reading this and it is July–please don’t use your leftover Easter eggs.

I use my handy-dandy Pampered Chef egg slicer. I put it in. Slice. Take it out and turn it. Slice. Then one more time I turn it and slice again. It makes a mess, but it’s way less messier than chopping them on a cutting board.

3. Chop everything else (or use your food processor. I don’t like to dirty a ton of dishes, so the potatoes and everything else go back into the pot and I mix it in there. Then I move it to a storage bowl with a lid and stick it in the fridge.

Voila! You have MSG and preservative free Potato Salad! It tastes better after it sits in the fridge for a few hours!

* * *

Carrot Raisin Salad

  • 4 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 diced celery ribs
  • 1 cup raisins (I like the Golden ones!)
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise (Real Mayo–not Miracle Whip)
  • 2 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

This is pretty straight forward. Shred your carrots and celery, add everything…

And mix. You’re done! It tastes better after it sits in the fridge for a few hours!

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Menu Plan Monday–April 6

Starting March 2nd, We’re going to give this a shot. I used to be so good at planning meals and something happened–and then I found out by way of a food journal, my system doesn’t tolerate MSG–so I’m making thing from scratch to avoid the nasty stuff!

And since we’re moving soon, I also would like to need to empty out the abundance from my freezer and pantry. I’m going to try to GOING to spend less than $15 a week for my grocery budget in April and probably the first two weeks of May. WISH ME LUCK! LOL

* * *

Last week was a success as far as the budget goes! This week, I planned, shopped, spent $14 ($1 under budget!!) Then realized we were out of dog food and spent $17 more. 🙁

When you do a grocery budget–do you do an entire “everything needed for the household” budget or just a grocery budget and everything else like toilet paper, light bubs, dog food, etc goes on a different budget?

* * *

We didn’t eat a couple of meals I had planned last week for various reasons. We’re not eating the same things two weeks in a row, I’ve just moved them.

Monday–Round Steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans.

Tuesday–Ravioli, garlic bread

Wednesday–Tuna Noodle Casserole (no mushrooms!) Recipe below

Thursday–Stuffed Peppers (Large–Once a Month Cooking-type Recipe), mashed potatoes, green beans

Friday and Saturday–leftover days.

* * *

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 bag egg noodles
1 can of tuna
1 can of (choose one) either cream of mushroom, cream of chicken or cream of celery soup**
1 1/3 cup milk
2 sticks butter (I hate margarine)
2 row of saltine crackers
salt
pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook egg noodles as directed on package. Drain.

3. In a large bowl (large enough to fit all of the noodles as well as other ingredients) mix the can of soup, the milk and some salt and pepper. Mix well.

4. Add the noodles to the mixture and mix well.

5. Put noodle mixture in a 9×11 pan.

4. Melt the stick of butter in a medium sized microwavable bowl (I do it in the microwave–30 seconds at a time until it is fully melted)

5. Crush the crackers in their sleeve. Be careful the sleeve doesn’t pop!

6. Mix the crackers with the melted butter.

7. Place cracker and butter mixture on top of noodle mixture and spread evenly. Make sure all the noodles are covered, if they’re not they’ll get hard when they’re baking (and I don’t like that)

8. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.

**Since I cook MSG free, I either have to look for soup cans that say No MSG or I make my own. To make a tasty substitute for a cream of celery soup: melt 2 tablespoons of butter (I hate margarine!) in a saucepan. Chop up some celery and onions and saute them until the onions are clear. Wisk in a cup and a half milk. You can add salt and pepper if you’d like. That’s it!

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