Beef Meatball Goulash With Rice

Originating from medieval Hungary, Goulash is a deep, rich, belter of a dish. Back in the 9th century goulash was eaten by Hungarian shepherds. They would take cooked, seasoned meat and dry it in the sun to preserve it. Then they would store it in bags made from sheep stomachs. When they wanted to eat it all they would have to do was add water to the bag and they had a meal.

In terms of ingredients I can’t say how close this was to the traditional dish. For sure it would have used paprika (Hungarian paprika is renowned to be some of the best in the world). Not only does it give lots of flavour, it adds that deep red colour that makes it so appealing.

The use of fresh herbs really kick this one up a notch. Those rich flavours are contrasted with the freshness of the parsley. 

Red Onion, chop it into thin half moons

Green pepper, slice it as thin as you can

Garlic, grate it

Parsley, roughly chop it

Cook the onion and pepper till soft in a pan with some oil. Season with salt and pepper. Once soft add half of the garlic, dried thyme and ground coriander. Also add all of the paprika.

Cook this mix for a couple more minutes and add the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then add the stock pot and water. Mix it all up, lower the heat to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.

While that is simmering, put the basmati rice in a pot and add 500ml water. Bring to the boil and then pop a lid on the pan, lower the heat to medium and leave for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the pan from the heat and leave the lid on till you are ready to serve.

While the rice is cooking, put the mince into a bowl with some salt and pepper, then add the remaining garlic, dried thyme and coriander. Mix in the panko breadcrumbs. Make into enough balls for 3 each. (Don’t compact them too much, just enough to keep them together. Half submerge the meatballs into the sauce. Pop a lid on the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through. 

Once the meatballs have cooked add the spinach to the pan and put the lid back on for a couple of minutes until it has wilted. Season if you need to and then remove from the heat and stir in two thirds of the sour cream.

Fluff up the rice and serve as a bed for your sauce and meatballs sprinkle over your parsleyand a dollop of sour cream.

Crispy Sea Bream with Braised Fennel, Parsley Mash and Zesty Crumbs

A simple dish that is made great by a fantastic crumb that lifts the flavours from the other ingredients.

The main component of this meal, the fish, was as you would expect fresh and tasty. The skin was nice and crisp and gave a nice texture to the dish. I loved the fennel. I have only ever had the soft leafy tops before so this was another first for me. Apparently it is related to celery and you can see that when you taste it. It is fresh and crisp in flavour. It is subtle and does not overpower the delicate flavour of the fish. The potatoes were nice and buttery, the skins being left on gave a slight resistance when eating them which was nice. What stood out on this dish was the zesty crumb. The panko breadcrumbs were proper crunchy, mixed with salt, pepper, parsley and the lemon zest. They seemed to give all the other ingredients that little lift.

So for this you need chop the potatoes into pieces, leave the skin on, it adds to the texture. Pop them into a pan of boiling water and boil for 15 – 20 minutes or until they are soft through. 

While they are cooking away, remove the nice leafy tops of the fennel and finely chop them put them to one side. Cut the fennel in half length ways and remove the core at the bottom. Then slice into 1cm pieces. 

Lemon, zest it;

Parsley, chop it

Garlic, grate it

Put a splash of oil in a pan and cook the fennel on a high heat for 5 minutes before adding the garlic. A minute later add 300ml water, turn down the heat to medium\low whack a lid on a gently simmer until the fennel is tender.

Add some oil to a pan on medium heat and add the breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt. Once the crumbs are nice and golden put them in a bowl to one side. Once they have cooled, add half of the parsley and a pinch of lemon zest. Wipe out the pan with some paper towel.

Drain your potatoes once they are cooked. Put them back in the pot and add in the butter, mash it all till its nice and smooth then mix in the rest of the parsley and some salt and pepper. Keep it warm with the lid on while you cook the fish.

Add some oil to the pan and cook the fish skin side down for 3 minutes and then turn it over for another couple of minutes. When the center is white you know its cooked. 

Mix the fennel tops into the fennel and serve it next to a dollop of mash and that’s lovely sea bream. Scatter over some of the zesty crumb mix and get stuck in. 

This meal is from our HelloFresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk