Members' Recipes Archive

February 2003
Lamb Goulash with Sun-dried Peppers
Lyn Hall

Lamb Goulash with Sun-dried Peppers

By: Lyn Hall

Serves: 8

Unlike my Hungarian and Slav friends, and Margaret Costa, I have never been able to make a respectable goulash from a tin of tomatoes, some stewing beef or lamb, papriks, and a chopped onion covered by water. For a start, finding good stewing meat nowadays is more difficult than finding a good steak. I have turned to the neck fillet of lamb which is always reliably fork tender and juicy in just under an hour.
When the new wave of sun-dried peppers and tomatoes (sold in packets by Merchant Gourmet) and smoked paprika, which gives all sauces and marinades a striking flavour and haunting fragrance came onto the shelves, I thought again. All these deep colours and rich flavours would do wonders for my goulash. I added extra herbs for a good rustic flavour, and the Greek set yoghurt replaces the sour cream. It is warming and cheery dish for the coldest days of February.
Finally, I believe the the secret of every stew (or casserole) is to strain off the juices when the meat is cooked, and boil them down in a wide pan, removing all fat, and thickening them if required, just as you would a good sauce. Use all the liquid to reheat the stew, but only serve a gently generous amount, so the meat is not swimming in the sauce.


50g (1 3/4 oz) sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips with scissors
50g (1 3/4 oz) sun-dried red peppers, cut into strips (optional)
60ml (5 tbsp) red wine vinegar
1.450kg (3 lb) neck fillet of lamb, trimmed of fat
45ml (3 tbsp) sunflower or vegetable oil (approx)
2 onions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
20ml (2 dssp) flour
20ml 2 dssp paprika (from a freshly opened jar) OR smoked paprika
285ml (1/2 pt) lamb stock
800g (1 3/4 lb) tin Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 large sprigs thyme, loosely tied
4 large sprigs rosemary, in muslin
30ml (2 tbsp) cornflour (approx)
300ml (10 fl oz) set yoghurt
Large bunch parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly milled pepper


1.Preheat oven to M3 325†F 170†C.

2. Place the tomatoes and peppers in a small bowl, add the vinegar and just cover with boiling water. Set aside whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients.

3. Cut the lamb into fairly large chunks, not larger than 2 inch/5 cm pieces. Season the lamb, heat the oil and brown the lamb on all sides in a wide pan. When deeply coloured, remove with tongs or a perforated spoon and reserve on a paper-lined tray. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Blend in the flour and paprika, gradually add the stock, and stir until all is creamy and smooth.

4. Place the lamb in a heavy, deepish stewing-pot, add the tomatoes, the herb bag, the pepper and tomato mix, with its liquor, and the onion mixture. The liquid should easily cover the lamb. Add more stock or water if necessary.
Tuck a disc of greaseproof paper over to cover the lamb (cartouche) then the lid, and bring to a steady, slow simmer either on top of the cooker, or in the oven. Cook for at least one hour.

5. When the lamb is tender, strain the contents of the stew-pot through a large strainer, into a saucepan. Return the herb bag to the liquid, then boil hard to reduce the sauce, stirring. Thicken with 1-2 tbsp/15ml-30ml of cornflour, slaked in a little cold water, until the sauce coats a spoon. Season carefully. Meanwhile, keep the lamb warm and moist, in the dish you wish to serve it in.

To finish
Off the heat, and when the sauce is off the boil, remove the herb bag. Stir 15ml/1 tbsp of cornflour into the yogurt, then stir this into the warm sauce. Return to the heat, continue to stir and warm, gently. Season carefully to taste. The sauce should be a wonderful rosy colour, and should coat a spoon.

Pour the sauce over the lamb, then sprinkle plentifully with the parsley. Or simply spoon the yoghurt in large dollops through the goulash, before sprinkling with parsley.

Serve with noodles, rice, creamy mashed potatoes or stir-fried green cabbage with caraway seed.

You could add a little finely sliced green pepper, red pepper, and/or yellow pepper to the sauce, while it reduces.

If you like, add some sweet chilli powder to the plain paprika.

© Recipe copyright 2003 Lyn Hall


Author: Lyn Hall Email:

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