Gluhwein And Goulash – Christmas In July

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Yip, it’s that time of the year again when trees are bare and the roses pruned. Time to get fireplaces going and turn on electric blankets. In encouragement of winter, I thought, why not have a gluhwein and goulash Christmas in July party. Gluhwein reminds me of my skiing trips to Austria, sipping on the delicious warm mulled wine permeated with orange, clove, cinnamon and anise. Each sip contributing to that rosy cheek glow, as my hands and feet slowly defrosted. After a glass or two of it, skiing became far more interesting and funny … if you know what I mean J this recipe is spicy, orangey and not too sweet. It certainly shouts out festive season, hence the idea, Christmas in July.

Now, as far as goulash goes, it’s one of those “warm your cockles” kinda dish.

This goulash is very tasty with a rich and meaty, tomato gravy that loving coats each piece of meat. I have used pork for this recipe, it has that seductive richness that I love, but beef can be substituted if you must. The paprika gives it that deep smoky hum, with a hearty authentic Hungarian taste. It is also relatively cheap fare. The stew offers much comfort with its rust glow and tender meat. It is enough to brighten the chilliest night.

So, get out your Christmas décor and invite family and friends around for a gluhwein and goulash themed party. For some extra silliness, you can even make it a dress up.

This is a rendition on the Hungarian stew, and further on the recipe for the Gluhwein:

Goulash –

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Ingredients –

  • 3 medium onions – thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Small chilli – chopped and deseeded – optional
  • 1 heaped tbsp. of sweet paprika
  • 800g cubed pork (I used cubed pork neck)
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 400ml of beef stock
  • 3 mixed peppers – red and yellow – chopped into large pieces
  • 2 x tins of whole tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1tsp of fennel or caraway seeds
  • 1tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 140 degrees C

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Soften the onions in the olive oil in a heavy based oven proof pot, they should be soft and pale

Add the chopped chilli and paprika into the onions and stir, cook for 2 minutes

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Remove the onions from the pot and set aside, keep the pan juices.

Turn the heat up and add the cubed meat to the pot let it brown on all sides. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Add more oil if necessary

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Once the meat is browned return the onions mixture to the pot

Sprinkle over the flour, cook briefly

Add the beef stock

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Add the peppers, caraway/fennel seeds, tinned tomatoes and paste and the wine

Bring everything to a simmer, season generously with salt and pepper

Cover with a lid and transfer to an oven, leave it unpestered for 2 hours

Remove from oven, check the meat for tenderness and skim off some of the fat from the surface. If the meat is not tender enough, put it back for another 45minutes. (Cooking time is dependent on the type of meat you use)

If you feel that the sauce is too loose, thicken with a small amount of mazina.

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Serve with mash, thick noodles, rice or boiled potatoes.


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Ingredients – Makes 4 glasses.

1 bottle of yummy red wine (750ml)
1 orange juiced
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 star anise
3 tbsp. of white sugar (You can substitute brown sugar or honey for a slightly different flavour) add less sugar if you don’t like it too sweet.

Method –

  1. Slowly heat the red wine in a large pot (don’t bring to the boil)
  1. Add the orange juice to the wine along with the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and sugar.Stir slowly until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Leave to simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes (don’t allow it to boil).
  3. Remove the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and star anise.
  4. Pour into individual glasses, using a soup ladle and finish off by adding a thin slice of orange rind to each glass. Serve hot.


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