I’ve been home for a couple of days with another cold.  Ugh.  While it doesn’t seem to be as nasty as the last one, it’s just good manners to not go to work and spread it amongst the co-workers.

I’ve been a good boy and have been drinking my liquids and eating lots of homemade chicken soup.  LOTS of homemade chicken soup. Feed a cold, feed a fever, I always say.

Tonight, I needed something other than chicken soup.

I had some veal stew meat so I went looking for something a bit different.  I stopped by the Epicurious web site and found a recipe for a veal, mushroom, and red pepper goulash.  I had the ingredients, so I thought I’d give it a try.

For those of you who have never been to Epicurious, the comments on the recipes are worth the visit, alone.  Some of the most obnoxious and pretentious “cooks” in the world feel it their duty to let the rest of the world know just how wonderful they are.  I especially like people who go on about how they made a dish completely different that the recipe – used different ingredients, cooking methods, you name it – and then state that the recipe sucked and they will never make it again.  HELLO?!?  You didn’t make it in the first place!  Or rate a recipe with one fork – their equivalent of “star” – without ever making the recipe at all, because real Hungarian Goulash would never have a tablespoon of tomato paste in it! Really. (The recipe never stated it was “Hungarian.”)

And, of course the “…Since my boyfriend is a chef, he suggested that I use boudon blanc sausage …” or in a classic Beef Wellington recipe “If you wish to lighten it up a bit, use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry …”  Uh…  if you’re worried about those four calories in your slice of Beef Wellington, perhaps you should make something else?!?  In my not so humble opinion, classic recipes should be made as intended.

This particular recipe had its share of detractors, but it looked good and I had the ingredients on hand.  I wasn’t leaving the house.

One of the things that really caught me was the introduction where the author said they always served it with egg noodles mixed with sour cream and dill!  I was fairly enthralled with that idea.  In all my years of cooking, I don’t think I ever tossed egg noodles with sour cream before topping it with something.

And after doing it tonight, I see many more dishes where I will use the idea!  It was really yummy!

Veal, Mushroom, and Red Pepper Goulash

Gourmet | October 2000

We like this stew with egg noodles (12 ounces of dried pasta), cooked and tossed with two tablespoons of reduced-fat sour cream and a quarter cup of chopped fresh dill.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Active Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 2 1/4 hr


  • 1/2 oz dried mushrooms
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless veal shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 lb fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)


Soak dried mushrooms in hot water until softened, about 30 minutes.

Remove mushrooms from liquid, reserving it, and rinse mushrooms. Squeeze out excess moisture and coarsely chop. Pour reserved liquid through a paper towel–lined sieve into a bowl to remove grit. Return mushrooms to liquid.

Pat veal dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then brown veal in batches. Transfer as browned to a bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon oil and onion to pot and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in soaked mushrooms with liquid, scraping up any brown bits, and tomato paste, then bring to a simmer, whisking. Add veal with any juices.

Cover and simmer over low heat until veal is tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

While meat is simmering, lay peppers on their sides on racks of gas burners and turn flames on high. Roast peppers, turning with tongs, until skins are blistered and blackened in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. (Or cut sides from peppers, discarding seeds and stems, and broil, skin sides up, on rack of a broiler pan about 2 inches from heat.)

Transfer peppers to a bowl, cover, and cool. Peel and seed peppers and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Heat remaining teaspoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir into stew with bell peppers and salt and pepper to taste and gently simmer goulash 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Serve over noodles.

Cooks’ note:

•Goulash, like all stews, will taste even better if made 1 day ahead. Cool uncovered, then chill, covered. Reheat gently before serving.

My change to the above recipe was to use a jar of roasted red peppers instead of roasting my own.  I know, I know… but it’s what I had.  I’m sick, remember?!?

It came out great even with my substitution and the noodles with sour cream and dill?!?  Yumlicious!