Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sekeli Gulas (Croatian Sauerkraut Stew)

I'm sitting at home, anxiously awaiting for my guy to get home from being away on business for a week. I try to always have a nice meal waiting for him whenever he comes home from a trip away from me. No matter how late he'll be getting home, there's always that possibility of 'tired from travel' hunger strike.
This time I thought I'd attempt at making the dish his Mum often makes for our arrival when we visit her in Slovakia. One of our favourites! We call it the 'white goulash'.

This isn't a Slovak dish, but a Croatian dish, which is broadly enjoyed in Slovakia and other Eastern European countries.
I don't have the recipe from my guys' Mum but knew most of the ingredients that goes into it, and after some web research I was inspired and confident to go at without following any recipe at all. I 'eyeballed' it and judged texture and taste as I went along.
It's very difficult, if not impossible, to re-create the 'Mum's touch' taste, but I have to say I'm pretty proud of this one :)

(Feeds 4-6 people)
2 rump steaks (fat removed and cubed)
1 cup smoked bacon lardon (cubed)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
500g sauerkraut
2 tbsp ketcup
1 tbsp peppercorns
2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cup white wine
1 cup single cream (I always use soy cream)
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp flour
salt and ground pepper to taste

- In a large stew pot saute the onions with olive oil. Once they are softened add the bacon. Once the bacon in cooked remove onion and bacon, setting aside. Brown the beef in the pot then throw the onion and bacon back in. Stir in the flour, paprika and caraway seeds.
Now add the white wine. Leave cooking on medium for a few minutes then add the sauerkraut and peppercorns. Continue cooking on low-medium for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes.
Stir in the cream, milk, vinegar and ketcup. Add the bay leaf and turn down to a simmer.
Allow to simmer, covered, for a couple hours, stirring occasionally and adding salt and pepper to taste.

In Slovakia this is a delicious stew (gulas) to serve with knedliky - traditional Slovak bread dumpling.
Since I don't have any and haven't attempted to making my own yet, a good replacement is simple sliced bread. I found ciabatta to be a good match.
Pour the stew over top of the bread (dumplings) and allow the stew to be absorbed. yummm!!

I think my guy (recipe guines pig) will be very pleased with this one, for sure!!
Food is the way to a man's heart. Especially if you attempt at making food from his home country!


Diana said...

Now Sarita, this looks gooood. I gotta say you're pretty pretty close to mamma's creatuion (of course I must taste them). Well done, did Mr. M enjoy it?

Sarah @ Taste My Plate said...

Thanks for stopping by again Sophie! Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think!

Diana, Mr M got home very late so will be haing it for lunch today. I'll be waiting for his feedback :)