Ghoulish Goulash

by Aida Azizuddin Photography FriedChillies on Thu, October 29, 2009

I love tossing meat in some liquid and let it render down to something I can dip crusty bread in. A goulash is another take on my favourite comfort food and rhymes with ghoulish, perfect for hungry ghosts...

It's Halloween so make it devilishly spicy

Halloween is a big deal in the States. When I was there and staying with my foster family, pumpkin carving was our main activity. We used to buy five or six gigantic pumpkins for next to nothing (about 30 cents each) because there were so many of them! I suppose being so far away from home, lining up pumpkins outside the house with a candle in each glowing from within is like a version of lighting pelita's during Hari Raya.

As you can probably tell, this recipe has nothing really to do with Halloween except perhaps goulash sounds rather ghoulish. Nobody really cooks anything for Halloween. It's a day to get a sugar rush. Some houses made candy apple and there used to be horror stories while I was there of sick pranksters putting razor blades in the candy apples so children will cut the insides of their mouths. A little like the the Tylenol laced candies of the 60s. It probably gave birth to all those horror movies in the late 70's and 80's

But morbid thoughts aside, goulash is better for our kind of weather here. In autumn it was lovely to have a hearty stew but here in our humidity, it can be a little too heavy. A goulash is lighter and peppery and due to the paprika a better match for our spicy palates.

12 lamb ribs
5 garlic cloves
6 yellow onions
2 carrots
Some cooking oil
6 cups chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons of paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
Some sprigs of rosemary


Clean and trim your lamb ribs. Cut the fleshy part into cubes and separate the ribs.
Dice three of onions and crush all the garlic. Fry it in oil with bay leaves.
Add in lamb cubes and brown it until juice oozes out. Grill your ribs first before adding it to the pot. This will give your goulash and nice smoky edge.

Add paprika and cayenne pepper. You can opt out the cayenne if you like it milder. But it's Halloween so I'm going to make mine devilishly spicy.
Add chicken stock and the remaining onions. Then add potato. I like to grill my potatoes first on the same skillet as the lamb ribs to get the outer layer a little crispy.
Simmer for an hour.
After about an hour add in carrots and rosemary and continue cooking for about 45 minutes.

Your goulash is ready when the meat is soft and falls almost off the bones. You can make it with just lamb chunks or use beef. Bones just give it a little added texture and something to gnaw on.

You MUST serve it with crusty bread.

Chef says:

Like stews, goulash always tastes better the next day so make it a day in advance and reheat it.

Now you are ready to throw a little Halloween shindig and have a cosy evening watching horror movies.

To make it more Halloween, why not roast some pumpkin and toss it in with the carrots? It will give your goulash a nice mellow sweetness and a way to use all that pumpkin flesh if you are carving out pumpkins at home.