If he didn’t, he ought to have. Back in the 1980s, when he and Philip Michael Thomas were speeding along the Miami coast, in an offshore racing boat, I was a callow youth, trying my best to impress the girls at house parties around Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin. No self-respecting house party would be thrown without large pots of goulash and chicken a la king. I remember the chicken gunk as being particularly clawing and disgusting. The goulash was often watery and pretty pathetic too. Both were usually served with undercooked rice and, if at a fancy do, garlic bread. But, none of this mattered as we pushed the sleeves of our sky blue Armani style jackets up our skinny arms, hoisted our high waist baggies and got down to the thumping music of Jan Hammer.
They were simpler times. In Miami Vice, Crockett and Tubbs lived a luxury lifestyle with fast cars and even faster women. In today’s politically correct world, it wouldn’t be acceptable to call a TV star Tubbs for fear of offending some large minority. Not that PMT (Can I call him that?) was fat. Far from it. But, I digress. In short, back then goulash was often made and mostly made badly. I need to redress the balance. So, it’s on with a canary yellow tee and into the kitchen to cook Beef Goulash. The chicken a la king will have to wait for another day.
Ingredients for Beef Goulash
- 1.5 kilos of good diced beef.
- 5 onions
- 3 red peppers
- 1 or 2 green peppers
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 3 teaspoons of hot paprika
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of smoked sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons of smoked sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
- 800 ml of tinned tomatoes (2 tins)
- 600 ml of great quality beef stock
- Sour cream to serve
- Chives to decorate
- 2 tablespoons of oil for frying off the beef
1980s people must have been pretty poor cooks because this is a cracker of a dish and it is not difficult to make by any standard. Firstly, heat a casserole dish and add the oil. Brown the beef in batches.
Add it all back into the casserole. Slice the onions into eights and oik them into the casserole too.
Add all the remaining ingredients apart from the peppers.
Give it all a good stir and put it, covered with a tight-fitting lid, into a 170ºC oven for an hour and a half. Chop the peppers like in the picture and add them to the casserole.
Stir the peppers into the stew and return it to the oven for a further hour.
Prepare some rice. In a break with 1980s tradition, I like to cook my rice properly. Serve the goulash with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives for a bit of colour. Despite being as out of fashion as Jane Fonda’s leg warmers, this really is a fantastic dish. It’s very easy to prepare and tastes pretty amazing. I enjoyed mine with a cold beer. You should too.
The only downside of eating this goulash is the risk of splashing some of that tomato and paprika laden sauce on your white baggies or pink unstructured jacket. Perhaps that’s why it hasn’t been made since 1988?