Have you ever tried goulash? The original goulash comes from Hungary. Czech goulash is a bit milder than its Hungarian cousin, though both rely heavily on sweet paprika. Every Czech family and every pub cook has his or her own recipe variation. Czech Goulash is traditionally served with bread dumplings, but you can also serve it with bread or potatoes. The traditional version with dumplings can be found in every Czech pub and restaurant, it is one of the most popular dishes that you can eat in Czech Republic. It is often served with a glass of beer to flush it down nicely. I make my own vegan version of the goulash.
A very important note about paprika. I only use Czech or Hungarian paprika (the sweet-mild version, and a little bit of the hot-spicy version). If you live in USA, please, don't use the regular cheap paprika from a grocery store, it does not have any flavor, it just adds color. I learnt that the hard way when I made a goulash for my family six years ago. Buy the Hungarian paprika, it is not hard to find and it is not too expensive.
I usually make my goulash using seitan, but today I made it with my favorite "beef" (Beefless Tips) from Gardein. It was wonderful.
If you make the goulash with this Gardein "beef", follow the recipe bellow. If you use seitan, add it to the goulash after you add the liquids, not at the end of cooking.
I haven't made dumplings since I moved to America almost six years ago, because I was afraid that the flour that is sold here would not work for the dumplings. The original flour that is used for making dumplings is quite different from the regular flour here. It is is more coarse.
I found a recipe that uses all-purpose flour so I decided to try it. The recipe was adapted from The Vegtastic blog. I tweaked it a bit, but it turned out quite good. The dumplings were a little slimy on the surface (because of the very fine flour). If you decide to make the bread dumplings, please remember, not to cook it for the recommended 25-30 minutes or it will get hard!
The best method for boiling the dumplings: cook one side for 10 minutes and then flip it and cook the other side for 10 minutes. I made the dumplings using the recommended bread, but you don't need to use bread. I used unsweetened almond milk and more salt. If you use the recommended 1/2 tsp salt, the dumplings will not be salty at all. I used 1 tsp and it was very good.
1 9-oz pkg Gardein Beefless Tips (or 9 oz seitan, cut into chunks-read note above)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs. canola oil
3 cups warm vegan "beef" broth (I used 2 cubes of Not-Beef bouillon from Edward & Sons and 3 cups water)
1 1/2 Tbs. flour
3 tsp. sweet paprika or 2 tsp. sweet paprika and 1 tsp. hot paprika (see note above)
1 tsp. ground caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/4 cup plain tomato sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, caraway seeds and flour and cook 2 minutes stirring constantly. Pour in the warm broth and tomato sauce. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more broth or water if the goulash becomes too thick. Prepare the Gardein Beefless Tips according to the package directions. Add them to the goulash. Sprinkle the marjoram over the goulash (rub it with your fingers to release the aroma) and cook 2 more minutes, uncovered. Season with salt and pepper and serve over bread dumplings.