Goulash is a hearty soup/stew (stoup? can that be a thing?) that is heavily spiced with paprika and has braised meat with vegetables. It is also the national dish of Hungary. It takes a while to cook but is well worth it.
- 2 pounds stew meat
- 2 small onions or 1 big onion
- 2 green bell peppers
- 3 carrots
- 2 potatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
- 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
- Bay leaves
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- water or beef broth
- flour (around 2 cups) (optional)
- 1 egg (optional)
Prep your ingredients for the stew– dice the onion, chop the carrots, potatoes, and green pepper into similar size pieces (about the size of a nickel), finely chop the garlic and measure out the paprika and tomato paste.
In a large pot (I used my trusty dutch oven, I swear I use that thing for just about every meal), get it hot and melt down some butter, you’ll probably use around 2 tablespoons or so, but you want enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Same concept if you are using another method like oil or lard. Add your onions and cook until they are translucent and a little brown (around 10-15 minutes).
Once the onions are cooked you will want to add your beef or other cubed meat. Season the meat with salt (I prefer kosher for cooking as it sticks to meat best and allows for more precise seasoning control) and cook until the meat gets a nice brown crust going on the edges. Once this is done, season with your paprika and cover the contents of the pan with water or beef stock. Cook, covered, for 30-45 minutes.
Now for veggies and more layers of flavor! At this point add your potatoes, carrots, green peppers, tomato paste, garlic, and bay leaves. Give it a good stir and at this point give it a taste test, add more salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Let this simmer for about half hour, or until the potatoes and carrots are fork tender. While the vegetables are cooking you will want to start on the next segment if you want to add the dumpling noodles called csipetkes. They are delicious but totally optional.
To make the csipetkes, in a separate bowl beat one egg. Add flour and a pinch of salt and knead it until a dough forms. Next, pinch and form little half inch long dumplings. Add these to the goulash and cook for about 5 minutes.
Serve in bowls, this pairs excellent with Cabernet Sauvignon. Bon Appetit, or rather, Jó étvágyat!