I have a real ‘family favourite’ to share with you which I can confirm is both easy to make, and highly delicious. My nearly two year old son who has recently decided to abstain from meat eating (to cut him some slack – it can probably be attributed to the final stages of teething, well that and being too lazy to chew!), necked the lot in about five minutes flat, and finished his sister’s leftovers too. This definitely means that I’m on to a winner.

We have made Goulash many times now following our delightful trip to Prague back in 2010, the year before we were married. I have very fond memories of this break (if you have a spare few minutes to be entertained, do read all about the food tales here) and re-creating the dishes that we sampled on our travels, still makes me happy to this day. Rich and sturdy food that warms the very cockles of your heart. That’s what this meal is – and it’s the perfect time of year to appreciate it *wind howling outside*.

This particular recipe is a collaborative effort between Dan and I. It started life as a beef dish a few years back, but at the time, casserole pork was very well priced in Tesco so we gave it a go, and Dan decided that pork lent itself to the three hours cooking time much more favourably. I’m inclined to agree and I can’t ever imagine creating it with beef shin again. Not when it tastes this good with casserole pork, anyhow.

Ingredients (to serve four):
2 tablespoons olive oil
450g casserole pork
Bowl of seasoned flour
2 onions (sliced)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 red pepper (sliced)
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
3 tablespoons of tomato purée
300ml stock
Dash of tomato ketchup (optional – I personally like the added sweetness)
Salt and black pepper to taste

For the dumplings:
100g self raising flour
50g suet
Cold water to bind

1. Toss the meat in seasoned flour to coat. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pan and brown the meat. Set aside.
2. Add the rest of the oil to the pan then add the onion, garlic and pepper, and fry for six minutes.
3. Add the paprika, stir well and cook for one minute, then add the purée, ketchup, stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil.
4. Put in a slow cooker for two and a half to three hours.
5. Mix the dumpling ingredients together and form eight balls. Drop onto the top of the goulash for the last twenty five minutes of cooking time.

The results are a wonderful plate of smoky, meaty and tomatoey stew which is perfectly complimented by a couple of slightly doughy dumplings. You can’t help but feel completely comforted.