April 15, 2019
This dish made of sauerkraut and meat originates from the Hungarian side of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and is especially common among the Slavic people who were once part of the Empire.
There is some discord, however, about the actual origin of the dish, and hence about the right name that goes with it. In Slovenia, and as internet searches would suggest, Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well, it is believed that the dish originates from a Hungarian town called Szeged, which is why it is called Segedin or Szeged Goulash. In Hungary and the rest of the Yugoslav Balkans, it is believed that the dish was accidentally invented by a 19th century Hungarian poet and journalist, Jozsef Székély, which is why it should also be called székelygulyása or Szekely goulash. The story goes that Székély once walked into a guest house in the late hours of the evening and was told they had nothing left but some sauerkraut and cooked meat. “Put both together and heat them up” was his order, and thus Szekely goulash, (Segedin in Slovenian and Slovakian) was born.
Most people in Slovenia are not familiar with the story and don’t place much importance on the origin of the dish either, but rather take it as their own, as one of the varieties of ways of to ingest sauerkraut in the wintertime. As far as we are concerned, it is one of the best ones, easy to make and especially good when served with bread dumplings.
Dice the onion and some garlic, stir fry in the olive oil until the onion softens up and becomes glassy.
Add diced meat and stew in its own juice for 15-20 minutes until it softens. Then add paprika, caraway and passata and stir it all with the meat. Add sauerkraut, bay leaves and enough water so that everything is more or less submerged.
Let it simmer for another hour or so, then serve with bread dumplings.