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Sunday, October 21, 2012

North Croatian deer goulash

If you happen to get your hands on a good piece of deer meat of at least 500 g (like we happily discovered it in one of our local markets), you really must try to make this delicious goulash in the manner they do it in in Northern Croatia. It doesn't use any heavy sauces like cream of any type and the meat is really lean so it's very light but it makes such a delicious and comforting dinner. You feel as if you've been invited to a ostentatious medieval royal banquet.
It's also perfect for the current deep autumn mood and temperatures. Enjoy :)
Recipe source here.

Last year: Scottish cardamom griddle scones with butter and honey.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):
  • 500 g deer meat
  • 75 g pancetta or bacon
  • 20 ml vegetable oil (we used olive)
  • 150 g yellow onion(s)
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 250 ml beef or game stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground juniper berries
  • small-shaped pasta noodles or potatoes to serve (optional)

This goulash is traditionally served with small noodles or potatoes (near them or over them), which is why you're seen them on the ingredient list. Just choose what suits your preferences best (you may even serve it in a un-traditional manner with rice or whatever). You'll surely enjoy it anyway you choose.
You can also use lard instead of vegetable oil to stick more to the letter of this recipe, but we chose the oil to make it lighter.
And now to the goulash itself.

Finely cut the onion and saute it in the oil on medium heat:

Keep on the heat, stirring once in a while until it becomes translucent. Add the bacon or pancetta, cut into cubes:

Let the whole thing fry some more for 3-4 minutes, then add the meat, chopped into pieces:

Saute the meat until it becomes gray-ish on all sides. Add the seasonings and the wine and cook for 15 minutes on low heat, covered. After 15 minutes add the stock and cook for another 60 minutes, the last 15 un-covered.

Wait until the sauce reaches the consistency shown in the final picture (pictured first in this post) and it's done. Divide into plates and dig in! :)

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