A simple and delicious goulash of garbanzo beans/chickpeas and ground beef, flavoured with tomatoes and lots of paprika, makes up this savoury Garbanzo Goulash. Bake it in individual pot pies covered with a thick biscuitlike cornmeal crust, or bake it in a large casserole dish. (Skip to recipe.)
I love things made in individual little pots and dishes. Maybe it's in response to growing up in a large farm family, where food was always presented in massive pots or serving dishes for help-yourself service at the table.
There's nothing wrong with that.
It adds to the warm conviviality of family meals - the happy chatter and passing of bowls. That's how most of my family's meals are still served, but there is something special about an individual serving dish presented to every diner on his or her own plate. To me it elevates a family meal to - tonight we're eating out at 'Chez Nous' - ooh la la!
Breaking through the rich biscuit-like crust with a fork to get at the flavourful garbanzo bean goulash underneath is half the fun of eating these savoury pies. Food should be fun. Add a fresh green salad on the side and you have a complete meal.
The crust is made with garbanzo bean (also known as chickpea) flour, echoing the garbanzo beans in the goulash. If you are following a gluten-free diet, chickpea flour is full of protein and works well in many dishes. (And if you're not eating gluten-free, it's just tasty. Sometimes it's fun to change it up and try different flours!) Our local large supermarket chain carries the Suraj brand of chickpea flour (called chana flour), in its Indian import section, for much cheaper than the specialty markets. This brand is included in the Grande Prairie Celiac Site list of gluten free flours and mixes.
Sweet rice flour (different from regular rice flour) is wonderful for any kind of thickening. I prefer it (scroll to the end of the post) to regular wheat flour or cornstarch. If you don't want to use the red wine, use an extra half cup beef broth.
Or just make the goulash on its own to mop up with a slice of bread, a biscuit, or serve over rice or pasta. You can even bake the pot pie topping as savoury little biscuits to serve with the goulash. This recipe is endlessly versatile.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: Onion soup bowls, individual gratin dishes, or even small foil containers work for these pot pies. And if you really don't want to make them individually, or just want one big casserole dish pot pie, pile the goulash mixture into a 9x13" pan and lay the individual crusts on top.
Garbanzo Goulash Pot Pies
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 red or yellow pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 lb (450gms) lean ground beef
- 1 14-oz (400ml) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or 2 cups (480ml) cooked beans
- 1 14-oz (400ml) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup (240ml) low sodium beef broth
- ½ cup (120ml) red wine
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour (or regular flour for non gluten-free)
In a large heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Chop the onion and saute it until it starts to turn golden brown.
Dice the celery stalk and red or yellow pepper, then add them to the onion and saute until starting to soften.
Mince the garlic and add it and the ground beef to the vegetables. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until it is browned.
Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans (if you are using canned ones). Add the drained beans and the diced tomatoes to the meat and vegetables.
Add the rest of the ingredients, sprinkling on the sweet rice flour last, and stirring until it is all combined.
Bring the goulash mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Divide the mixture into 6 individual oven proof dishes - about 1 cup (240ml) in each one, or put it into a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Prepare the pot pie crust.
Garbanzo and Cornmeal Pot Pie Crust (or Biscuits)
- 1½ cups (140gms) garbanzo or chickpea flour, plus extra for shaping the dough
- ½ cup (80gms) cornmeal (or coarsely ground buckwheat)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder (granulated onion)
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup (115gms) chilled butter
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup (120ml) milk
Measure chickpea flour, cornmeal, baking powder, onion powder, paprika and salt into a bowl. Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry blender until it is the size of peas.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with a whisk or a fork until slightly uniform in colour. Measure out 2 tablespoons (30ml) and add it to the flour and butter mixture. Save the rest of the egg for brushing the tops of the crusts.
Add the milk to the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until moistened. You still want to see some of the butter clumps in the dough. The dough will be very soft.
Generously flour the work surface with chickpea flour, and scrape the dough out onto it. Form it into a ball with your hands, using flour if it sticks.
Pat the ball down a bit, and with a knife, cut it into 6 wedges. Roll each wedge into a ball, then lay on top of the floured work surface and pat with your fingers into a disk the same diameter as the tops of the pot pie dishes. Make the disks large enough to fit snugly. Lift them up gently and place one crust disk on top of each goulash-filled dish.
Use a pastry brush to glaze the top of each crust with the remaining bit of beaten egg. Sprinkle the tops with a touch of paprika, if you wish, and cut a cross into the top of each crust with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbling and golden, and slightly puffed in the middle.
*If you are using a rectangular pan instead of the individual dishes, shape the 6 balls of dough into large disks, with a diameter of about half the width of the pan, and lay them on top, slightly overlapping if necessary. Glaze with the egg and paprika, but you don't need to cut slits in the top.
Bake the same as for the individual pot pies.
If you only want to make a few pot pies and make biscuits out of the rest of the dough, shape into small balls, slightly flatten, glaze, and bake for about 20 minutes.
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