DISHING UP THE HOLIDAYS: Bernhard Mairinger’s Goulash Soup

Dishing-Up-The-Holidays

Bernhard, hard at work in the kitchen.
Bernhard, hard at work in the kitchen.

Every Monday for the past several weeks, we’ve been talking with a range of people — from

restaurant chefs to home cooks — about holiday food traditions from different communities throughout Southern California. It’s a series we’re calling “Dishing Up the Holidays.” So far we’ve heard about chile roasted turkeymac and cheeselatkesGalette des Rois, and bibingka. This week we get into goulash soup.

Bernhard Mairinger is chef and owner of the restaurant BierBeisl Imbiss in downtown L.A. He says when he was growing up in a small town in Austria, New Year’s Eve was a time to celebrate with family and good friends at a restaurant his aunt owned. And one of the things he remembers most is the hearty goulash soup his aunt used to serve, long after the clock struck midnight.

Clockwise from upper left: Sauteed veggies form the base of the soup. The soup is starting to come together. The perfect late-night bite after ringing in the New Year.
Clockwise from upper left: Sauteed veggies form the base of the soup. The soup is starting to come together. The perfect late-night bite after ringing in the New Year.

 

Bernhard Mairinger’s Goulash Soup

1 each green, yellow, and red bell peppers—seeds removed and diced

2 yellow onions, diced

½ pounds butternut squash–peeled, seeds removed, and cubed

9 cloves garlic, minced

½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes—peeled and cubed

2 Debreziner sausage*, diced (or any spicy beef or pork sausage)

12 oz pork shoulder or pork butt—skin removed and diced

3 ½ quarts beef bouillon or veggie stock

1 oz (4 tablespoons) Spanish paprika

2.2 oz (10 tablespoons) Hungarian paprika

1 tablespoon cracked caraway seed

2 bay leaves

1 ¼ ounces tomato paste

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

8 ounces (1 cup) beer—ale or lager

5 ounces white wine

3 sprigs each, fresh thyme and marjoram

Zest from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cheesecloth and kitchen string

Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste

Heat oil and butter in a pot or dutch oven. Add the onions and saute until tender, but without them changing color. Add the pork shoulder and diced bell peppers. Once the pork has browned, add the tomato paste and dust the contents of the pan with both paprika powders, caraway seed, and flour. Slowly roast without burning the bottom of the pan. Deglaze with beer and white wine and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the bouillon or stock, sausage, and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Wrap the thyme, marjoram, and bay leaves in cheesecloth, tie with string, add to the soup, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the butternut squash cubes and simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir every now and then to keep bottom from scorching. Add the sausage and lemon zest. Cook for another 10 minutes and season with salt, black pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Remove the cheesecloth. Serves 5.

*Sausage is available at European Sausage Kitchen in Beverly Hills