Preconception: I didn’t realized that goulash had sauerkraut in it.
Reality: I looked it up and most don’t, just this szegediner kind, also called Gulyás à la Székely. This is from my Viennese cookbook but the Szekely are apparently a group of people from Hungary. There seems to be some question as to where they came from originally and/or why they are a culturally different group…Interesting…Google it. I just like cooking and here I am learning all these interesting things about the cultural subgroups of Hungary and Transylvania (that’s Romania y’all). Awesomeness!
Preconception: Goulash is made with pork. The pork shoulder I purchased was really fatty and I should have trimmed just a bit more of it off. Also it took much longer than the time suggested to get the meat even close to tender. It said 1 hour and I cooked mine for almost 2.
Reality: Just about any red meat can be used for dishes called goulash (various spellings) It just means a meat stew originally made by Hungarian cattle herdsmen.
Preconception: It really should have Hungarian paprika in it. I ran out of Hungarian sweet paprika way short of what I needed (2 tablespoons) and substituted with cheap-o grocery store smoked paprika. I guess mine was Spanish-Austrian-Hungarian-Szekely goulash.
Reality: Paprika is not required in order to be called goulash although it seems to be very common.
Preconception: You eat goulash with spaetzle. I was going to make the spaetzle from scratch too and then I got lazy and just bought some.
Reality: Often eaten with mashed potatoes, egg noodles, rice, etc.