Dracula is not the only legend to have emerged from the forests of Transylvania.
If other legends are to be believed, the original goulash was a meat and paprika stew of Transylvania.
Vladimir Mirodan says it was brought south to Bucharest by young Transylvanian girls ‘in search of services and fortune’.
This is an adaptation from Károly Gundel’s Hungarian Cookery Book.
The kidneys can be from calves, lambs or pigs.
The marjoram, mushrooms, paprika and sour cream are essential. Without them it does not have the distinctive flavour that make it one of the region’s most popular traditional dishes.
500 g mushrooms, sliced 350 g beef, cut into strips 350 g pork, cut into strips 350 g pork kidney, blanched, cut into strips 300 g sour cream 200 ml water 150 g onions, chopped small 150 g smoked bacon, cubed 60 g sunflower oil 6 cloves garlic, crushed 30 g hot paprika 1 tsp mild paprika 10 g black pepper, freshly ground 5 g marjoram Salt, two large pinches
Sauté onions in oil in a large frying pan over a low heat for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, add hot paprika, allow to soak in.
Put pan back on heat, add beef, garlic, majoram and seasonings, sauté until beef is brown.
Add half the water, simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.
Add pork, brown, simmer for 10 minutes in remaining water.
In a separate frying pan sauté bacon and kidneys over a medium heat. When the kidneys are cooked add mushrooms and seasonings, cook for five minutes.
Pour contents of bacon pan into beef pan, simmer for ten minutes, add mild paprika, then the cream and bring to a low boil.