Hungarian Beef Stew (Goulash) Recipe
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There are probably as many versions of goulash as there are goulash makers, so feel free to improvise on this basic recipe. The constants are beef and paprika.
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2 ounces bacon, diced
1 pound beef chuck, trimmed
2 large onions
3 tablespoons paprika, preferably Hungarian
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1 cup red wine
2 cups stock or water
4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 pound potatoes
salt and pepper
:Dutch oven or heavy pan with lid
Dice the bacon and brown it over medium heat in Dutch oven or similar pan.
While the bacon cooks, cut the meat into 1" cubes. Mix together flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Coat the meat with this mixture. (An easy way: put everything into a bag and shake well.)
Remove the browned bacon, leaving the drippings. Brown the beef in the drippings, in several batches if necessary - don't crowd the pan or meat will steam rather than brown.
While the beef browns, slice the onions thinly. Peel or scrub the potatoes and cut into approximately 1" cubes. Mince the garlic.
Remove the browned beef, leaving any juices in the pan. Add onions to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and paprika and continue cooking for another minute or two. Add wine, stock or water, bay leaves and tomato paste, stirring to incorporate any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the beef cubes and bacon.
Adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the potaoes and continue to simmer until they are tender, 20 - 30 minutes.
If the liquid seems too fatty, let stand for a few minutes and skim fat off the surface. If there's time, refrigerate and remove solidified fat from the surface. Reheat, if necessary. Taste for seasoning. Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream, garnished, if you wish, with chives.
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