I’m back! I took a two week quarantine from this site I guess.
So, while everyone is staying home (for the most part) as much as possible, I’m here to introduce you to a pretty much pantry-staple friendly recipe that happens to be one of my favorites. I make it once a month (at least) whenever I want some stick-to-your-ribs, awesomely flavored comfort food. Today we’re making guláš, or a classic, meaty, paprika-y stew. Skip ahead to the recipe!
There are a ridiculous amount of guláš recipes out there, and to be honest with you, I make it differently every time. According to this website, goulash originated from Hungary, and the Czechs adapted it to suit individual tastes.
Here, I’m using regular sweet paprika since that’s what I have most of, but spicy paprika is awesome if you’d like a little more kick.
You’ll start out by dicing an onion, slicing up the garlic cloves, and peeling and dicing the carrots.
I like using a chuck roast for any beef stew, but you can use any beef you like. I usually don’t like getting “stew meat”, just because then I can’t control how much fat/gristle actually ends up in whatever I’m cooking and it usually ends up tougher. This is exactly what I used:
Cut up your chuck roast into chunks; you van vary based off of preference here. I like to cut off any really big hunks of fat/etc that are on the roasts. Shown below; look at the difference!
Sometimes I save whatever I discard, put it into a ziplock bag, and then later I can use it to make stock along with veggie scraps.
Next, coat the beef chunks in a few tablespoons of flour. It’ll help thicken the stew as it cooks.
Heat up a few glugs of olive oil (on med-high heat) in a deep, heavy bottomed pot. I used my dutch oven for this. Add the beef chunks in batches; overcrowding will result in a steaming effect for the meat and what you want to happen is a nice sear.
Once a few edges of the beef are brown and crispy, take out of the pot and set aside. It’s ok if the meat isn’t all the way cooked through, as it’ll be added back in. Now, add in your carrots/onions/garlic (with a little more oil if necessary).
Add in salt, pepper, and the rest of the spices listed. Turn the heat down to low, and stir occasionally. Break up all those browned bits at the bottom of the pot and make your kitchen smell awesome. Add your tomato paste. Now, for the fun part:
BEER. 3/4 for the stew, 1/4 for you. Or all for the stew. Or all for you. It’ll get cooked out by the time the stew’s finished, but if you don’t have any/don’t like beer/alcohol-free, it’s ok to leave it out. Just adds a nice complexity of flavor, and eases the cooking process a tad.
I used a lager because that’s what we had most of (N’s from WI, so we’re partial to the stuff), but any lighter beer would be great here. Guinness or the like might be a bit too much for this particular recipe.
Pour the beer into the pot and stir up all the veggies; this’ll scrape up any browned bits* from the beef that are left in the pot as well.
Add in your water/stock, and stir it all around. Throw in your bay leaves. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Cover, let simmer for 1-2 hours. Go do something fun. I’m currently on a
Midsomer Murders marathon law homework binge.
Once the goulash is done, serve over dumplings, fresh crusty bread, pasta (I grew up eating it with little elbow noodles), or just on its own. Enjoy!
Guláš | Goulash Recipe
-one large onion
-4 to 6 cloves of garlic
-2 medium sized carrots
-2-3 lbs (1-1.5 kg) chuck roast
-1 can of tomato paste (6 oz or 170 g)
-1 bottle of your favorite light beer (I used Point’s Special Lager but Heineken, Pilzner, even Budweiser would work)
-olive oil to coat pot
-2-3 tbsp flour
-1 tbsp salt
-fresh ground pepper to taste
-2 tbsp paprika
-1 tbsp dried marjoram (2 tbsp fresh)
-1 tsp caraway seeds
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp onion powder
-~1 L or ~4 cups water/beef stock
-pinch of red pepper flakes/cayenne if you want a little more spice
Start by removing excess fat from the chuck roast and chopping into roughly 1 inch chunks. Season a little with salt and pepper, place in a large bowl, and sprinkle over with the flour. Toss to coat.
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot on medium. Once oil is hot, add chunks of meat in a single layer, not to overcrowd the pot. Let sit until you can see the edges starting to brown, then flip with tongs. Once both sides are browned, remove and place into clean bowl. Repeat with rest of meat, and set aside.
Add more olive oil into pot if needed, and add onions, carrots, and garlic to pot. Add 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste, stir, cover, set heat to low for 5 minutes. Stir again, and add in rest of the spices (reserve the rest of the salt and bay leaves). Let cook for 1-2 minutes more.
Turn heat to high, add in one can of tomato paste. Stir so all vegetables are coated. Pour in beer (however much you like). If not using beer, pour in 1 cup/250 ml water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Stir, and when the mixture starts to boil, add in meat. Wait until boiling again, then add the rest of the water/stock to the pot. Add in bay leaves, and when it starts to simmer, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Let simmer for 1-2 hours. Stir occasionally.
Uncover, stir, and taste. If it needs a little salt, add some here, same with any other spices. Fish out your bay leaves and discard. Meat should be tender. If you’d like a thicker sauce, mix 1 tsp cornstarch with cold water and add to stew.
Serve with crispy bread, dumplings**, pasta, or on its own. Enjoy!
What are some of your favorite meals to prepare while we’re all staying inside?
**recipe will be coming soon!