Hungarian Beef Goulash

Have I ever mentioned what spice I love most?  Gosh…it can be hard to choose, but I hold a very special place in my heart for paprika.  Paprika is really just ground up dried bell peppers, but it goes so well with a wide variety of dishes.  I love using paprika on not only meat but it’s great to add to vegetables as well.  I add paprika to things like cauliflower, turnips, and cabbage as well as chicken and beef.  Before going to work yesterday I made a wonderful, savory, beef goulash.  Goulash is a Hungarian dish that heavily uses paprika for it’s flavor.  So incredibly simple yet flavorful at the same time.  This is one of those dishes that you really just “set it, and forget it” so to speak.  When cooking beef cuts like stew meat the longer you can let them hang out the better.  Depending on the amount of stew meat, you usually have it fully cooked towards the end of the searing process…but it’s the low and slow method that turns this meat into melt in your mouth goodness.  You could leave it to your trusty slow cooker if you like, or you can let it come together in the oven for a few hours.  Either way you will have a truly comforting meal in a few hours with hardly any prep time.  Serve your goulash over some cauliflower, mix some veggies in the pot as you go, or simply eat it all by itself in a bowl with a side salad.  Whichever you decide, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil or your favorite cooking fat
  • 1 lb. stew beef (grass-fed if you can)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. beef stock

 

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a oven-safe soup pot over medium heat.
  3. Add stew meat, in bathes if necessary, so that all pieces are seared well.  You want all four sides to get brown.  Slow process, but it really makes a difference.
  4. Once meat is seared, remove from pot leaving any drippings behind.
  5. Add sliced onion, garlic, and bell pepper.  Stir well scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Let it cook down until onions are translucent, process takes about 5 minutes.
  6. Pour meat back into pot, and add all spices along with stock.  Mix well.
  7. Cover soup pot and place in oven.  Let cook for about 2-2.5 hours or until meat is tender.

It really doesn’t get more simple than this.  The ingredient list is shorter than most recipes, and the preparation only takes about 10 minutes.  This is a great way to get some meat on the table that you wouldn’t want to mess with any other way.  For instance, if you’ve got a sirloin steak or another lean piece of meat you can cube it up and cook it with this method.  Additional items you could add for flavor, might be some red wine along with your broth.  Or a great option would be some fresh or canned tomatoes along with their juices.  If you wanted to create a quick stew you could use the same spices, but add in some turnips or chunks of cabbage.  All would be amazing!  Have fun!

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