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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash/Stew

My Aunt Jenny really likes goulash and beef stew. Since she's not familiar with making Western foods, she asked if I can make it for her. I don't really have the patience to wait hours for my food to be cooked so this is the first time I made something like this. I figured it should be pretty similar to a pot roast. I looked through tons of recipes and came up the this recipe. This is not an authentic Hungarian goulash, more like a cross between goulash and regular beef stew. 

Beef Goulash (using a 6 quart pot)

Step 1
  • 2 1/2 lb beef shank, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil or light olive oil
Step 2
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoke paprika
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
Step 3 (optional)
  • 2  cups of carrots, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2  cups of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks 
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms 
Step 1:Heat a large skillet then add in 2 tbs of oil. Add beef and onion, cook until meat is slightly brown. 

Step 2: Add all the ingredients from step 2 into the slow cooker. Stir and mix well. Add the browned beef and onion into the pot. 

Step 3: Cook on high for 5 hours (add the carrots,potatoes, mushrooms one hour before it's done). Or if you cook on low, takes 8-10 hours (add the carrots,potatoes, mushrooms 2 hours before it's done). 

Homemade Chashu Pork for Ramen

Last weekend we went to Craft Butchery in Westport and came home with $45 worth of organic pork belly. Since I love the frozen ramen from Daido (Japanese market in White Plains, NY), I thought it would be fun to see if I can make homemade Chashu Pork to go with the ramen.

I came across a great recipe from Serious Eats but instead of baking it in a very low temperature oven, I just cooked the pork belly over the stove on low heat (bring it up to a boil then reduce the heat). I cooked it for almost 3 hours. There is definitely a little adjustment I have to make but overall it tasted pretty good!

Black Forest Cupcakes

Thursday was a bittersweet day at work. It was Kelly's last day. She has been a joy to work with since I first started at my current company. She is such a sweet person and always there to offer help when I needed.  She got a better position that is closer to her new home so even though I didn't want her to leave, I am very exited and happy for her new adventure!

For her last day, I made the crowd favorite- Twinkies Cupcakes and also Black Forest Cupcakes. These were inspired by the $2.99/lb cherries I saw at Stop and Shop earlier this week.

I posted the Twinkies Cupcakes before so this post will be about these Black Forest Cupcakes.

Black Forest Cupcakes
makes 36 cup

Cherry Filling: I made it from scratch but if you can use cherry pie filling

  • 16 oz of defrosted pitted sweet cherries with the juice
  • 1 tbs sugar 
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs cornstarch with 2 tbs of the cherry juice

Combined cherries/juice, sugar, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice ingredients into a small pot. Bring it to a boil. Add the corn starch/cherry juice mixture. Bring the mixture up to boil and reduce heat to let it bubble and thickened. Let the filling cool.

I used the trusted Ina Garten recipe for the chocolate cake- Beattys chocolate cake.

Once the cupcakes are baked. Hollow out the center and then brush with Kirsch.


  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream- keep it very cold
  • 3 tbs powdered sugar-add more if you like it sweeter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make sure everything is very cold. From whisk to bowl to the cream. I always put the bowl and the whisk in the freezer for at least 15 minutes and only take out the cream right before mixing.
Mix the cream in a large bowl on medium speed until soft peak. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on hight speed until stiff peak forms. Do not over beat. 

Filled the hollowed out cake with the cherry filling. Then pipe the whipped cream on top. Top with fresh cherries or leave it as is.