By: Danya Weiner
A few weeks ago I shot an article for the Israeli culinary magazine, Al Hashulchan. The entire issue was on the foods of the different ethnic groups in Israel and the story I shot was on stews. The writer of the article, Ruth Oliver, came to my studio with eight pots full of deliciously cooked stews. I stared opening them up, one by one, and discovered amongst them: a pot of Mafrum (meat and potatoes), couscous with vegetable soup, a Persian meat and beans stew, stuffed cabbage and goulash. It amazed me how Ruth spoke of the preparation of these dishes with ease. It would’ve taken me days.
That shoot reminded me of my love for home-cooked “grandma” recipes- the ones that have been in families for generations and are passed down grandma-mother-daughter (or the lucky son). My grandma didn’t pass down any recipes, but I wouldn’t mind being adopted by one willing to share hers.
The week after the shoot I decided I would prepare goulash for a Friday night dinner for the fam. I had just bought a cast-iron pan coated with enamel, made by the fabulous Mario Batali and it was just begging to be christened. The magazine was only going to come out in a month and I needed a recipe. Ruth didn’t answer my call. I called Deanna to complain, not thinking that the LA born and raised girl would have a recipe for Hungarian goulash. Turns out she did. I made it- and this is one that I’m going to have to pass down.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 leeks, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 red bell pepper, cut into cubes
2 lbs./1 kilo stewing beef, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons sweet Paprika
3 cups beef stock
1 can (400 grams/14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, with juices
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 potato, peeled and cut into large cubes
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into large cubes
Salt and fresh ground pepper
¼ cup parsley, chopped (optional)
½ cup sour cream (optional)