Outlaw’s placek with goulash

Outlaw’s placek with goulash

60 mins
Laura Edwards

Although goulash originated in Hungary, in Poland it is more of a stew than a soup. We leave out the potatoes in the goulash and instead eat them with our placek potato cake – which is typical Polish mountain fare.

Goulash is the kind of stew that tastes even better the day after cooking, so I suggest making more than you need. If you don’t feel like making the placek again, then serve it with toasted buckwheat groats and a gherkin on the side.


Quantity Ingredient

For the goulash

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 carrot, diced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
150g sirloin beef, cubed
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 orange, yellow or green pepper, diced
250ml red wine
1 beef stock cube
50ml hot water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
or 1 tablespoon plain flour, with 25g unsalted butter

For each placek

Quantity Ingredient
1 large potato, peeled
1/2 onion
1/2 large carrot
or 1 small carrot
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste
soured cream, to serve


  1. First make the goulash. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a low-medium heat and fry the onion, celery and carrot for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the paprika and quickly add the beef to the pan. Fry for about 2 minutes, then add the peppers and pour over the wine.
  2. Dissolve the beef stock cube in hot water, pour it into the pan and allow to simmer, covered, over a low heat for 40–45 minutes. The better quality the meat the less time it needs to cook.
  3. While it’s simmering make each placek. Finely grate the potato, onion and half of the carrot so that they turn to mush. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the mixture with your hands and place in a bowl. Add the flour and egg and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the pan is smoking hot, tip in all of your placek mixture. Fry for about 10 minutes. Preheat your grill and then grill the top of the placek for a few minutes. (This placek is about five times larger than a normal one and it’s difficult to turn it at this stage.) As soon as the top has some colour and solidity to its form you can flip it over carefully and continue frying for a further 2–3 minutes.
  5. Serve the goulash inside the placek: to do this you slide the placek onto one half of a large plate and then spoon the goulash on top, covering one half of the placek and spilling the rest onto the plate. Add a dollop of soured cream to the goulash and then fold the placek over the goulash.
eastern european
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