Goulash must be Hungarian for stew, because that’s basically what a goulash is. It’s a great beef stew with a slightly different twist. Most goulash recipes call for stew beef, onions, garlic and paprika. Beyond that there are many variations. The following recipe is my favorite, and I’ve offered some notes concerning variations at the end.
2 lbs. beef, such as boneless chuck roast, flank steak, stew meat or other large hunk of cow
one to two large onions – very coarsely chopped
8 cloves of garlic – larger cloves cut in half
8 oz. mushrooms – I prefer Baby Bellas
1-1/2 cups beef broth (or Better than Bullion dissolved in water)
1/2 cup sweet red wine
1/4 cup sweet paprika (NOT the hot variety!)
1 Tablespoon sugar
Cut beef into cubes, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 inches. Regardless of the size you choose, make sure all cubes are as close as possible to the same size.
Sprinkle beef generously with black pepper, then toss with flour to coat.
On medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan or Dutch oven and swirl to coat. Brown beef on at least four sides to create a good sear. Leave LOTS of room between cubes when sauteing or you won’t get a nice sear. Instead the beef will just look gray and lifeless. Do this in as many batches as required, removing seared beef to a bowl.
Once all beef has been removed from pan, add another Tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic and onions until the onions are limp but not browned. Remove to bowl.
Add another Tablespoon of oil and saute mushrooms just until they begin to release their liquid.
Return beef and onions to pan, then add wine and beef broth and stir to blend. Add paprika and sugar and stir to blend.
Let simmer for at least an hour… more if you have time. I like to let mine simmer for at least three hours.
Just before serving, add sour cream and stir to blend.
Serve immediately with buttered noodles. Alternatively, you can add cooked rigatoni to the pan and stir to coat.
1. After you have sauteed the beef, onions, garlic and mushrooms, you can combine everything in a slow cooker. Use the low setting and let it go for as long as you like.
2. For more interesting flavor, add 2 Tablespoons of marjoram and/or caraway seeds.
3. If you omit the wine, increase broth by 1/2 cup.
4. Add 2 to 4 Tablespoons of tomato paste, if desired. Personally I don’t do this, but many do.
5. Some recipes are more “stew-like” in that they omit the sour cream, but add carrots, potatoes and/or parsnips. If unsure, try it both ways, then make your favorite from then on.
6. Yes, the recipe calls for LOTS of garlic and parprika. Don’t skimp! Use it all the first time. If you don’t like it that way, you can use less next time. But I find the bold flavor to be just right!
Try this one out and then leave a comment to tell me how it went. And don’t forget to…
Play with your food!
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