Jamie Oliver has a new show on the Food Network!!! It's all about using fresh produce, straight from the garden (or, in my case, the farmer's market). You know, even if he wasn't kind of cute, and even if he didn't make cooking look like a walk in the park, I would watch his shows because his producers make his food look GORGEOUS. Seriously, it is like pornography! Everything just glistens and the colors are brilliant, and you just salivate watching it. Or maybe that's just me. I'm a little jealous of the Brits, who are currently getting to watch Jamie's other recent effort, "Jamie's Fowl Dinners," which is about where our poultry comes from. What a guy!
Anyways, the show premiered this week with an episode devoted to chilis and peppers, and this is one of the recipes that was demonstrated. Goulash seems perfect for the cold, rainy days we've been having, so I thought I'd give it a go. I cut the recipe in half because I was only cooking for two of us, but we still have leftovers. I think it came out delicious, but I would add more of just about everything except water next time; it was a little runny, and a little bland. Also, I served it over egg noodles, which seems appropriately Eastern European, but Jamie recommends rice. I think a spaetzel would also be really good, but I was feeling lazy.
4 1/4 pounds pork shoulder off the bone, in 1 piece, skin off, fat left on
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 fresh red chiles, seeded and finely chopped
2 generous heaping tablespoons mild smoked paprika, plus a little extra for serving
2 teaspoons ground caraway seeds
Small bunch fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked
5 bell peppers (use a mixture of colors), sliced
1 (10-ounce) jar grilled peppers, drained, peeled and chopped
1 (14-ounce) can good quality plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
14 ounces basmati or long-grain rice, washed
2/3 cup sour cream
1 lemon, zested
Small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Score the fat on the pork in a criss-cross pattern all the way through to the meat, then season generously with salt and pepper. Pour a good glug of olive oil into a deep, ovenproof pot and add the pork, fat side down. Cook for about 15 minutes on a medium heat, to render out the fat, then remove the pork from the pot and put it aside.
Add the onions, chili, paprika, caraway seeds, marjoram or oregano and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Turn the heat down and gently cook the onions for 10 minutes, then add the sliced peppers, the grilled peppers and the tomatoes. Put the pork back into the pot, give everything a little shake, then pour in enough water to just cover the meat. Add the vinegar - this will give it a nice little twang. Bring to the boil, put the lid on top, then place in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
You'll know when the meat is cooked as it will be tender, and will break up easily when pulled apart with 2 forks. If it's not quite there yet, put the pot back into the oven and just be patient for a little longer!
Stir the sour cream, lemon zest and most of the parsley together in a little bowl. When the meat is done, take the pot out of the oven and taste the goulash. You're after a balance of sweetness from the peppers and spiciness from the caraway seeds. Tear or break the meat up and serve the goulash in a big dish or bowl, with steaming rice and your flavored sour cream.