Hungarian Goulash has always been part of our lives, since we both have European lineage in our families. We’re not Hungarian, but recipes and foods tend to cross borders freely. Our families also passed recipes back and forth in the neighborhood where we grew up, so both of our mothers had similar recipe boxes. They haven’t always been authentic, but the theme of beef, paprika, onion and served over noodles has been. We like this one because it’s a good tasting version, even though my Hungarian friends still might argue with me. That’s alright since one of the pleasures of cooking is taking a recipe, tweaking it for personal taste and then going with it.
For this version, we use the trimmed beef from the Whole Rib Eye “tails” we cut off when we buy an entire rib eye and cut up for steaks. The flavor is so good, tender and allows us to put these cuttings to good use. You can also use other good cuts of stew beef. We also use chuck steak, since the flavor is wonderful when braised in this recipe. Your butcher can help you.
2 Pounds good Stew Beef cut into 1-inch Cubes
2 Cloves Garlic, Sliced Thin
1 Cup Diced Onion
1 Cup Diced Carrot
2 Tablespoons (about ½ Oz) quality Hungarian Paprika
1 Teaspoon Caraway Seeds
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (Can be made from Tomato Powder and water.)
1 Tablespoon Flour
2 Cups Chicken Stock
Canola or Safflower Oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley for garnish
Cooked egg noodles, for serving
Sour Cream for topping (optional)
Season beef with salt and pepper to taste. Sear in Dutch Oven (or other heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid) over medium to medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. Remove and drain.
Reduce heat to medium. Add a small amount of oil to pan and let heat for a bit. Add garlic, onion, and carrot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes until onion starts to get translucent. Add paprika and caraway seeds and cook for another minute. Stir in vinegar and reduce a bit. Add tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, allowing to blend together.
Add flour and cook for 1 minute until well blended. Add chicken stock and stir to mix well, while bringing to a simmer.
Add beef back to the Dutch Oven. Cover and place in 350°F oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more stock if it evaporates too much, keeping it a thick, stew-like consistency.
Remove from oven and serve over cooked egg noodles, or mashed potatoes if you prefer. Garnish with chopped parsley and optional sour cream.