Fiakergulasch- Viennese Cab-Driver’s Stew

P1080040

A rare departure from our predominately vegetarian diet. Husband-Gusto offered to cook a nostalgic favourite at the weekend. The weather has turned wintry again and it is cold, windy and wet. Fiakergulasch was a favourite meal back in the days before Baby-Gusto was born and we tried to spend a few days in Vienna before Christmas each year. Glorious Vienna.  The Christmas lights, the Christmas markets. The gluh-wein and the rum-punch. Hot roasted chestnuts.  I believe the word ‘Fiaker’ is the word for the horse-drawn hackney cabs that have operated in Vienna since the 1600s and Fiakergulasch is a dish reputedly beloved of their drivers. Whatever the reason behind the name, this is a delicious stew. Perfect with a glass of red or a very great deal of beer. The stew is traditionally served with a fried egg,pickled gherkins and a frankfurter.

Ingredients

1 kg diced beef

1 kg onions thinly sliced

1crushed garlic clove

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1tablespoon white vinegar

4 cups hot beef stock

2 level teaspoons mixed herbs

1 teaspoon ground caraway

1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste

1 egg per person

1 frankfurter per person

1-2 pickled gherkins or cucumbers perperson

Cook onions in the olive oil on the hob. Add paprika, vinegar and beef stock. Add beef and herbs. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 90 minutes.Keep checking that the stock is not boiling off, add more if you need.  After 90 minutes, uncover, add tomato paste and simmer on a very low heat for another 20 minutes or so. Add salt pepper to taste.

Serve topped by the fried egg with the gherkin and cooked frankfurter on the side. Boiled potato dumplings round off this meal beautifully.

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