How I Made Goulash To Test Three Different Paprikas

Not so much a photo recipe - more a photographic record of how I cooked Jenny Redfern's Gulyás, from the blog post Mothers’ Distinctive Goulash/Gulyas by Karen Coates of Rambling Spoon. The idea was to test three different paprikas by cooking the same goulash dish in three portions, one with each pepper, and then blind tasting them.

I started with three different paprikas.

At the front is "Hungarian 1st class paprika" from my local spice stall in Broadway Market. At the rear is a packet of "genuine Spanish paprika" from my local supermarket and a packet of "Indian paprika" from my local shop. I suspect that this was actually Turkish paprika.
Once I'd measured a portion of each into a glass, you can see just how much difference there was in colour.

The Hungarian paprika was bright red, the Spanish paprika a brownish-red and the Indian/Turkish paprika a darker reddish-brown.

I started by sautéeing a coarsely-chopped onion.
Then I roasted some caraway seed in the oven, to bring out the flavour.

I used pork for my dishes, rather than veal, as I have an objection to the way that veal is raised and slaughtered.

I deliberately chose a cut of pork (rolled shoulder) that had a good marbling of fat when diced, as you can see from the photo. This fat helps the meat to tenderise and adds flavour to the broth as the meat is braised.
With the meat divided into three portions, I rubbed each portion thoroughly with a mixture of paprika, garlic, caraway, salt and pepper - using a different paprika for each bowl.

At this stage it was still obvious which portion was which, from the different colours of the paprika.

After browning the meat one batch at a time (carefully, to avoid burning the paprika and turning it bitter), I put each portion into a separate covered pan to braise with the onions, wine and tomato paste.
From time to time I added additional white wine to prevent the meat from burning and to keep the braising process going.

Doesn't the combination of red paprika and red tomato paste look fantastic on the pork as it cooks?

The next task was to grate some potato and mix it with sauerkraut. Rather than make my own sauerkraut, which would have been a time-consuming activity, I used a commercial sauerkraut from the local supermarket.

Not something you would have found a few years ago, but now plentiful as a result of the large influx of Polish migrants into Britain.
I folded the potato and sauerkraut into each of the meat and onion mixes and then cooked the dishes for another hour and a half, with occasional stirring and topping up with boiling water.

Eventually, all three goulashes were cooked. The process treated each portion identically - or at least as close as I could get.

I served each bowl with a generous topping of soured cream.

With the portions secretly labelled, dad and I sampled each one and made our decisions as to which was the best.

And then we wolfed the lot down. Delicious!