Veal Paprikas

Armed with several new cookbooks and kitchen equipment, I’ve been doing battle with a few new recipes, and even testing different cooking methods.  Inspired by Karoly Gundel’s Hungarian Cookbook, which was picked up hastily at the airport in Budapest, I decided to try my take on Veal Paprikas.

The first time I made this dish, I used a Dutch oven.  The sauce was delicious, but the meat was tough despite a fair amount of braising.  After reading about molecular gastronomy, I decided the solution may lie in changing the way it was cooked as opposed to the cut of meat.  I thought about using sous vide, but it would take days to cook the meat and didn’t seem right for my style of cooking.  Instead, I opted for the pressure cooker.  To my surprise, it cut the cooking time down tremendously without sacrificing the flavor, and the meat was definitely more tender!   Whichever preparation you choose, the sauce tastes best if you can make the dish a day in advance.  Keep it in the pot you cook it in (if you can) and simply reheat over low on the stove until it’s warm.

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Veal Paprikas
Serves 2 (with some leftovers).

Ingredients

2 oz of pancetta (or 2 slices of bacon, cut into pieces)
2 lbs of boneless veal (shoulder), cut into cubes
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 tbsp of smoked paprika (you can use sweet if you want it less spicy)
2 small tomatoes or 1/2 a small can of tomato paste
1/4 cup of sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup of chicken broth or white wine

Directions

Dutch Oven:

Add oil to the pan and heat to medium.  Sprinkle the veal with salt and pepper, then add the pancetta to the pan with the veal and cook until browned on all sides (about 5 minutes).
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Remove the meat and set aside.  Add the onions, some more salt and pepper and the paprika and cook over medium heat stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.

IMG_0058Add the veal back in and the tomatoes.  Stir to mix.  Place the lid on and cook over low heat for about 50 minutes.

IMG_0060Stir in sour cream and heat through.

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Pressure Cooker:

Brown the pancetta, veal, onions, paprika, salt and pepper over low heat for about 5 minutes in cooker (or separate pan if using electric cooker).  Add tomatoes, and broth or wine (*you need to make sure you have enough liquid for the pressure cooker to function), then cover pot and cook on 1 psi for about 10 minutes.

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Allow pressure to drop naturally.  Then remove lid and stir in sour cream and heat through.

Serve over some buttered noodles, potatoes or polenta.  Accompany this with a simple arugula salad for some greens.

To drink:  A bourbon or rye-based drink would work well.  Or for something lighter, open a bottle of Burgundy (pinot noir) or try a winter beer, preferably something with spices.

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