Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hungarian Beef Goulash

Goulash is one of the most satisfying cold weather foods I can think of. Hell, I love it so much I'll eat it in 90 degree weather. When it's in the single digits as it has been in my neck of the woods, I've got hearty Hungarian stew on the mind.
1 1/2  pounds  boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
1 tbsp   butter
2 white onions, chopped
2  garlic cloves, minced
2  tablespoons  paprika (I've said it before, I'll say it again -- smoked paprika is the best!)
1  tablespoon  red wine vinegar (or really whatever thinner vinegar you have on hand, I don't think it makes a huge difference if you sub with apple cider or a white balsamic. I'd avoid a rich, dark balsamic vinegar)
24 oz can of chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon  caraway seeds, crushed
3  whole bay leaves
1  cup  water
14 oz can fat-free, low-sodium beef broth
6 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 peeled carrots, cut into 3/4 inch disks
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Dredge beef in flour and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add beef to pot and cook until brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan and reserve.

Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté until lightly browned, then stir in paprika and vinegar. Cook mixture for 4 minutes before returning beef to pot. cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, crushed caraway seeds, bay leaves, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 cup water and beef broth. Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add chunks of potato and carrots;  cover and cook until potatoes are tender (about an hour and a half). Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and lemon juice. Discard bay leaves.
Serve with crusty bread and a dark beer. Kyler picked up an amazing rustic rosemary garlic potato bread from Uprise Bakery and we drank Founders Breakfast Stout (Currently my fave beer in the whole wide world. It's a damn shame that it's seasonal and the season just ended...thus we stocked up).

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