17 May 2013

Hungarian Goulash

Spring weather is finally here and this dish couldn't be more wrong--you should be eating a lot of fruit, cucumbers, and grass clippings.  Perhaps it is because, as I write this post, I am visiting my family in Illinois, but I like the heavy old Eastern European classics sometimes, even when they're out of season.

You can enjoy this alone as a stew or serve it over egg noodles, spaetzle, or rice.  I like it over spaetzle and sprinkled with a little fresh dill and sour cream.

Hungarian Goulash

Serves 6-8

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 onions, sliced
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or less if you're a baby)
2 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced into 1-in cubes
8 oz. chopped mushrooms
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
chopped fresh dill and sour cream or plain yogurt for serving

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook onions until very soft, stirring frequently.  Remove onions and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper.  Coat beef cubes in spice mixture and cook in oil until brown on all sides.  Add the potatoes, mushrooms, and cooked onions, as well as the tomato paste, red wine, water, garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until meat is tender.