No vampires were consulted in the making of this Pittsburgh favorite, but we did get some tips from a goulash master.
Why This Recipe Works
This hearty, brick-colored stew—a close cousin to Hungarian goulash—opts for rich, marbled pork shoulder, rather than beef, as its base. Earthy paprika lent its trademark color and intensity. Browning the chunks of pork in batches developed a flavorful fond that was further enhanced by aromatic vegetables like onion, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic. While we often add chicken stock to a braise to add savory depth, we preferred water in this goulash, as it allowed the variety of flavors to shine. We introduced sauerkraut—another staple ingredient in Transylvanian goulash—toward the end of cooking to balance the richness of the pork; rinsing the sauerkraut helped tame the tang. A few tablespoons of dill added freshness to the deeply flavored stew.