Are you the type of person who gets excited about chopping up fresh vegetables? I certainly am! There is just a little ‘something’ about chopping fresh vegetables that seems soothing. Last night we had the company of three good friends, and, considering the icy cold winter that it has been so far, we decided to make a heart warming Croatian Goulash. I have shown a quick preparation of this dish in a previous post but here is our adapted version.
Croatian Goulash Serves 6 (Adapted from my friend’s Croatian Baba)
6 small potatoes or 3 large ones
4 celery stalks
3 garlic cloves
Bunch of parsley
1 cup of white wine (we use Jacobs Creek Cool Harvest)
2 teaspoons of vegeta
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
500g of good quality diced lamb
500g pasta (we think spirali is best but used spaghetti this time)
- Dice the onion and fry in a large pot with about 1/4 cup of olive oil until cooked through
- Add the lamb and chopped garlic cloves
- Pour in your white wine and cook for about twenty minutes
- Grate two celery sticks and two carrots, add
- Dice remaining celery, mushrooms and tomatoes, add to pot
- Add half of the chopped parsley
- Dice potato and leave to the side for later
- Add tomato paste
- Season with salt, pepper, a few teaspoons of vegeta and cook with the lid on for about an hour and a half, stirring every twenty minutes or so
At this stage the goulash will begin to form its own stock, the vegetables will begin to break down and form a very delicious smelling goulash! About half an hour before serving, add the diced potatoes and cook until almost soft (we do this so that the diced potato doesn’t lose shape) .
Add the remaining parsley and serve goulash with your favourite choice of pasta and freshly grated parmesan cheese! A very simple meal that involves a good deal of vegetable chopping so if, like me, you love to chop; this meal will be perfect for you!
I apologise for the finished product image, it is in fact my leftovers as last night we were to absorbed in entertaining our guests we forgot to photograph the real finished product!
To accompany this delicious goulash, we recreated one of our favourite sides from Italy. Upon completing the most breathtaking walk from Manarola to Corniglia on the Cinque Terre last year we stumbled across the most amazing rosemary and salt focaccia bread. Although it was so simple, the flavours were just perfect and absolutely mouth-watering so we thought we would give it a go. Unfortunately due to time restraints we did not make our own focaccia but instead used the very adequate version supplied at our supermarket bakery.
Rosemary and Salt Focaccia
Four fresh rosemary sprigs
4 garlic cloves
Slice the focaccia in half and then in to squares, spread crushed garlic over each piece (there only needs to be a little garlic on each piece, don’t go overboard!). Dress the focaccia with a decent amount of sea salt and rosemary and finish off with a drizzle of olive oil.
Cook in oven at about 160C for approx half an hour or until golden brown and crunchy!
And there you have it. A beautiful meal that was simple to prepare and is absolutely delicious for your taste buds! Why not try this as your next winters night recipe? Let me know how it goes!