The Hungary Buddha is one of my favourite food blogs. I love the whole concept of travelling the world vicariously by eating the cuisines. One of my favourite things to do when travelling is eating out and trying the local food. And one of my favourite days at work is when everyone brings in something influenced by their heritage. We have quite a multi-cultural office and so I get to eat food from around the world. Yummo!
Some of the best food comes from family recipes so I was very excited when the Hungary Buddha shared this recipe for veal paprikash with orzo that her Mum makes. Plus it has still been a bit chilly here in Canberra and so few of my favourite bloggers who are based in the Northern Hemisphere have been making winter food – not unsurprisingly given it was summer there up until Monday. So an added bonus to see a great winter food appearing in my bloglovin feed.
The first time I made the recipe it was a bit of a disaster but that can happen when you crazily think you can replace veal stewing steak with veal scallopini. I couldn’t find veal stewing steak at the supermarket and so thought it was worth trying scallopini as an alternative. Note to self, trying to use thin meat cuts for stews is never going to work no matter how much you try and will it.
It wasn’t a complete disaster though and I am going to work on a recipe using veal scallopini that incorporates some of the flavours of this veal paprikash as the meat does cook much quicker – a meal for when I feel like stew flavours without the cooking time of a stew.
Second time around with the proper veal stewing steak this meal was amazing. The flavours are warming and hearty with sweetness from the paprika. Plus it incorporates carrots – not one of my favourite vegetables but one I know I should eat. This recipe nicely hides from me the fact that I am eating carrots.
While the veal paprikash is wonderful, my favourite part of this recipe is the orzo (or risoni as it seems to be known here in Australia). It is just fantastic. Growing up my Mum occasionally made dinner with a packet mix called Rice a Riso, a mix of rice and risoni with a flavour packet. I loved it when she used this and the orzo in the Hungary Buddha’s recipe is like an upmarket and tastier version of those packets. The orzo reminded me quite a bit of risotto and the techniques to make it are similar but seemed less effort than risotto for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.
I went past al dente and probably committed some heinous pasta sin by overcooking the orzo but it was just so lovely and soft and took on so much of the flavour of the chicken stock. The saltiness of the orzo complements the sweet and creaminess of the veal paprikash perfectly. I can see the orzo becoming a regular side dish staple. I did skip the parsley bit of the orzo recipe because I was feeling lazy.
To make this for one I used the following ingredients:
For the veal paprikash:
- 140g of veal stewing steak (cubed veal)
- ¼ of a brown onion
- 1/3 of a carrot
- ¼ tsp of sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp parsley
- ¼ tsp of flour
- 1 tbs of sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the orzo:
- ¼ cup of risoni (orzo pasta)
- 2 cups of chicken stock (I used stock cubes and hot water – you do want the stock to be warm. You will probably use less if you go for al dente)
- ¾ tsp of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste – I didn’t add any as the chicken stock added enough flavour for me.
The carrot should be chopped the same size as the onion to help get even cooking. If you do one much larger than the other then you may find things don’t cook evenly. I followed the recipe pretty much as given aside from skipping the parsley from the orzo and going past the al dente stage. The only bit I wasn’t completely sure about was step 2 and 3 and when to add liquid. I found this a bit confusing so just added water after adding the meat and parsley. I bought the water to the boil then turned it down to a simmer for the 45 minutes recommended.
Preparation time for this recipe is about 10 minutes – there is a bit of chopping required. Cook time is just over 50 minutes. The orzo on its own took about 20 minutes. So all up just over an hour in total.
The recipe isn’t perfect for the single cook as you will have leftovers for the onion and carrot. But this is one dish where I think so wastage is worth it. To be honest, next time I would probably make double and have leftovers. If you decide to do this I would skip adding the sour cream and flour until you are ready to eat.
As you might have guessed the calories in this meal are not the lowest. The orzo has about 300 calories. The veal paprikash is pretty good though coming in at about 240 calories so all up this is not a bad calorie count for a full meal.