The Bardic Chef: Recipe – Wolf’s Meat Paprikash on Barley

Strahd von Zarovich arrived in Vallaki, for me, and I didn’t dare risk telling him no. Some lifetimes he’s more negotiable than others, and I don’t have a good feel for his tolerance this time around. So, just in case he’s completely ruthless, I agreed. I find myself here in the castle now, in the kitchens, tasked with making him another one of his meals. I know this is a test of loyalty, and that the packet of meat he’s left for me to use has questionable origins. … I’ll tell myself it’s wolf meat, and get through this quickly.

I do wonder who he has in his dungeons, though. Nope… nope, don’t think about it.


  • 1/4 cup cooking oil of choice
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 red pepper, cleaned and minced
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 lb wolf steak (or meat of choice), chopped fine
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp caraway seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of barley, prepared and fluffed with a fork


Coat a frying pan with oil, and add the minion onion, red pepper, and mushroom. Cook eight minutes, or until done. Add the chunks of meat, season with salt and pepper, and brown.

Sprinkle seasoning over the meat, and add diced tomatoes, stirring well. Transfer to a pot, and add the five cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 90 minutes, replenishing water as needed.

Cook the barley halfway into the simmering time, to have them done at the same time. Top the barley with meat mixture, and serve.