“Mad Men” and Goulash and Pork Butt, Oh My…

9 Apr
Photo: Ron Jaffee/AMC

Photo: Ron Jaffee/AMC











If you caught Sundays premiere of Season 6 of AMC’s critical and (somewhat) ratings hit Mad Men, then you probably enjoyed Betty Draper Francis’ foray into NYC’s late-1967-era hippie district in search of the young violinist Sandy who ran away to find herself.   For a pampered suburban housewife I think she conducted herself with admirable spunk and aplomb, waiting around long enough to even help the mostly-cheery squatters prepare a goulash, at least offering a few preparation tips.

The young men prepared their goulash from shoplifted pork butt, onions, lentils and a tin of paprika smuggled in Pork Shoulder/Pork Butthidden in the back of some guy’s pants.  Betty suggested they needed a pot — they used an old bucket — and without running water for the necessary liquid they went up to the roof to gather some snow.  Betty didn’t stick around long enough to sample the dish, but it’s become a sensation on the internet, starting with New York Magazine’s Vulture site cute version of Betty’s Squatter Goulash, which you can and should look at by clicking here.

Actual Goulash recipes are rampant, some using beef and some using pork like in Mad Men.  There’s a Hungarian Goulash recipe from a Slovak cook using beef that looks fabulous and has nice photos — click here to see it.  Goulash also seems to be divided into stew vs. soup camps, the relative thickness of the final mixture determining where it falls and both are celebrated.  The Dean and DeLuca website has a “Spicy Hungarian Pork Goulash with Peppers” recipe that falls into the Goulash!soupy camp, and it also sounds delicious — click here.

The addition of lentils is a variation that doesn’t seem to be common in meat goulashes, but shows up a lot in vegetarian versions of the dish — click here for an example.  I’d say those boys were using the lentils to pad out the protein in their pork version and at least it probably wouldn’t have ruined the taste.

So go make a great Goulash this week, and thank Mad Men for the inspiration!

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