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Podcast: Venison Neck Goulash and The Interesting History of Goulash in Europe and North America

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When I started planning for this recipe, I decided that I wanted to try and use a part of the deer that I hadn’t used before. This year we sent my husband’s buck to the butcher, and we were given back these lovely cuts of neck meat. I knew I wanted to use them at some point for a stew or pot roast, and this venison neck goulash recipe was the perfect time to try it. 

The neck is full of connective tissue and muscles, and when it’s braised gently, it melts into this wonderful tender bite. I hope you love it. -Natalie Auer

Read the written version of this recipe as prepared by Natalie Auer

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About Goulash

The world of goulash is actually quite interesting. Different versions abound, and a goulash in the United States has almost no resemblance to a goulash from Hungary or the rest of Europe. How did this happen? Why is this dish so ubiquitous across so much of the world?

It all started on the Alföld, or the Great Hungarian Plains, a flat, steppe-like territory occupying over 54% of Hungary in the 800s. This region was also populated by cowherds known as gulyas (“gu-yaj”). In the evening they would set up a metal cauldron over the fire and cook a simple and filling stew which usually consisted of dried bacon, wild onions, a rustic grain like millet, wild caraway, salt and lots of pepper. 

The dish became more and more popular and was eventually named after the herdsmen who had introduced it – gulyas. Anglicized, that’s goulash!

Hot paprika eventually replaced pepper as the main spice in the dish and spread to neighbouring countries.

The mid-1800s and early 1900s also saw an influx of Hungarian immigrants to Canada and the United States. Like all immigrants, they brought with them recipes from home which they attempted to recreate using whatever local ingredients were available.

By 1914 the Woman’s Educational Club Cookbook had come out including two recipes for goulash, one American goulash, and the other simply goulash. In only a few years, gulyas had already split into two distinct dishes, one American, and one European. This cookbook’s version of American goulash called for cubed round steak stewed with tomatoes, tabasco sauce, paprika, and onion juice.

Newspapers continued to come out with American Goulash recipes, and in the next decade, an all-American dish of ground beef, tomatoes, macaroni, and paprika emerged.

About Adam Berkelmans:

Adam Berkelmans, also known as The Intrepid Eater, is a passionate ambassador for real food and a proponent of nose-to-tail eating. He spends his time between Hull, Quebec and a cozy lake house north of Kingston, Ontario. When not cooking, he can be found hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening, reading, traveling, and discovering new ways to find and eat food.

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Adam Berkelmans

Adam Berkelmans, also known as The Intrepid Eater, is a passionate ambassador for real food and a proponent of nose to tail eating. He spends his time between Ottawa and a cozy lake house north of Kingston, Ontario. When not cooking, he can be found hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening, reading, traveling, and discovering new ways to find and eat food.

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