Friday, January 18, 2013

Pork Goulash over Rutabaga "Noodles"

Goulash is basically a traditional Eastern European stew of meat and onions usually served over noodles or spaetzle.  I have many fond memories of eating my mom’s goulash during the not-so-cold winters while growing up in Southern California.  Even though it doesn’t get much lower than 50ºF there, it was always nice to come home from school to a big bowl of goulash that would literally just warm up my soul.  And with the weather being so cold this past week (30ºF...Seriously, Phoenix?!), I figured it was the perfect time to make a really soul-warming dish.  

This recipe, a paleo-ized version of my mom’s own recipe, substitutes the noodles with rutabaga of all things!  I suppose I could have used spaghetti squash for this, but since I had never used rutabaga before and just the name of the vegetable makes me smile, I decided to buy one...And sure enough, the wheels in my head started turning. (And I liked rutabaga so much that you will be sure to see more rutabaga recipes to come).

Pork Goulash

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups of yellow onions, sliced (about 3 large onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat, then add the olive oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until caramelized. (It takes about 30 minutes to get them nice and brown.)
  3. Stir in garlic and caraway powder and cook for one minute.
  4. Add paprika, cayenne pepper, and the bay leaf and cook for another minute.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste, then deglaze the pot using the balsamic vinegar.
  6. Add the beef stock, and when heated through, add the cubed pork.
  7. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the coconut flour to thicken the goulash, unless a thinner, soupier consistency is preferred.  Then, taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Rutabaga Noodles 

  • 1 large rutabaga (makes about 4 servings)

  1. Peel the rutabaga and cut it in half.
  2. Using the julienne setting on a mandolin, slice the rutabaga into thin strips
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, then add the rutabaga strips.  Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until the “noodles” reach your desired doneness.
  4. Strain and serve with the pork goulash or sauce of your choice.

Are there any recipes from your childhood that bring warmth into your life during the cold winter months? ...Because for me, this goulash recipe is only one of many!  Feel free to share in the comments section below.