Great Chef Sandor Varga and his Consomme Gourmet Art
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This beautiful goulash consomme derives its flavor from intense Hungarian paprika and beef which have been simmered together for a long time, with water added from time to time to keep the mixture moist. The chef clarifies the consomme with egg white. The Hungarian paprika is stronger that the paprika Americans use to add color to dishes; look for it in gourmet shops or through spice companies. Using a very small uniform dice for the onions and peppers will lend a more formal appearance to the finished dish.
3 strips bacon, chopped small
1/2 cup onions, chopped small
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
1/2 pound boneless sirloin or round, trimmed of fat and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2-1/2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white bell pepper, cut in small dice (substitute: yellow bell pepper)
1/2 red bell pepper, cut in small dice
2 large red potatoes, boiled, skinned, and diced
1 large red tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 egg white
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup water
4 narrow mild green peppers
4 round red radishes
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, render the bacon until it releases the fat. Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of the Hungarian paprika. Add the cubed beef and 1 tablespoon of the water, stirring to mix. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the caraway seeds, and the garlic. Put back over medium heat and cook until the mixture is almost dry, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add 1/2 cup of the water and stir to blend. Cook until almost dry again, stirring occasionally; the meat will give off juices. Add the diced peppers and 1/2 cup of the water. Stir in the second tablespoon of paprika. Cook 5 minutes, then add the pre-cooked potatoes and chopped tomatoes. Adjust the seasoning with salt; add water if necessary to provide about 1 – 1-1/2 cups of liquid in the pot. Simmer 3 minutes, then skim off any fat and foam on the surface with a spoon.
To make the clarifier: In a medium saucepan, whisk the egg white and tomato paste together until slightly foamy. Add the water and whisk to blend.
To prepare the garnishes: Cut the tops off the peppers and pull out the seeds and ribs. Cut the peppers into long narrow points, joined to a narrow band of uncut pepper around the top end, creating a crown-like effect. Cut a notch in the side of each radish so it may be perched on the rim of a cup.
To finish the consomme: Take the consomme off the stove and pour it through a fine-meshed sieve into the clarifier. Set the drained vegetables and meat aside and keep warm. Put the clarifier mixture over low heat and let cook just below a simmer for 2 minutes as the egg picks up the fat and cloudy bits in the broth. When the egg whites rise to the surface, the consomme below will be clear.
To serve: Divide the drained vegetables and meat among consomme cups. Lift the egg clarifier off the top of the consomme with a ladle or large spoon and discard. Ladle the hot clear consomme over the vegetables and meat in the cups. Garnish each with a pepper crown and place a radish on the rim of each cup.