The city of Sibiu, in central Romania, has recently hosted a special kind of contest
At the end of last week, an open-air museum in Dumbrava Sibiului hosted a cooking contest. Five families took part in the contest in which they were supposed to cook the best goulash, which is a staple meal in Transylvania. The winners will take part in the world’s biggest goulash contest, to be hosted by neighboring Hungary.
Roughly 500 liters of goulash were cooked in Dumbrava Sibiului, with ingredients provided by a producer of organic food and some of the farmers in the area. The Sibiu contest is in line with a series of other cooking events aimed at promoting a holiday destination.
Goulash is a stew or soup of Hungarian origin, which can also be found in Transylvania, Slovakia, Serbia and Italy. The stew is usually made up of pork, beef, onion, carrots, bell peppers, parsley and seasoned with spices like pepper, paprika and caraway. If potatoes are added, goulash looks more like a stew and can be served as the main course.
In order to prepare goulash you need a kilo of finely chopped pork, which is browned in hot oil, or according to tradition, in lard. Take the meat out of the pan and in the same oil or lard sauté several finely chopped onions, two shredded carrots, a finely chopped bell pepper and a couple of garlic cloves. After having sautéed the vegetables put the meat back in the pan, pour a cup or two of water, cover and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
In order to get the specific reddish colour add paprika, tomato juice or paste, ground black pepper and if you want a hot goulash, add chili pepper. Salt the goulash to taste.
Now, if you want your goulash to be thicker, before adding the spices, you can throw in chopped potatoes or small flour dumplings, which should boil for about 20 minutes. Goulash can be served hot with a glass of red, semi-dry wine. Enjoy!