Monday, January 7, 2008

Beef Goulash

Nothing better than a hot beef stew on a cold winter's day. Too bad that winter took a break today and the thermometer reached 50 degrees. Oh well. Its still delicious. There's nothing more warm and homey than coming home to a warm bowl of stew.

So, as for the goulash aspect of it. If there are any true Hungarians out there, then the first thing you will tell me is that the recipe below is not real goulash. It contains two ingredients considered most forbidden among goulash ingredients: flour and tomatoes. Of course, I did not discover this until AFTER it was simmering away. The good news is that somewhere I read that if you must add tomatoes, then you needn't be able to taste them. Thankfully, all they did was body to my goulash, not flavor. I also unintentionally omitted red peppers. But in my defense, I actually am part Hungarian and my mom never mentioned anything about red peppers when making goulash. I'm not blaming though.

My goulash (or stew, for the party poopers) came out great. My husband didn't care for it, mainly because of the caraway seed flavor. I'd be willing to leave it out next time, just to see if he'll eat more. Because now I'm stuck with 6 more servings of goulash to eat myself since he doesn't want anymore.

2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds trimmed beef sirloin, cut into 1" chunks
1 Tbsp shmlatz (chicken fat)
2 1/2 cups onions, chopped (about 3 onions)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp caraway seed, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
1 (14 oz) can reduced sodium, fat-free beef broth
1/2 cup water
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 pound egg noodles
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Mix flour, pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon paprika in a bowl. Dredge meat in flour mixture.

Melt chicken fat in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add meat and brown, about 8 minutes. Remove meat and add onions and garlic. Cook onion and garlic until soft and brown, about 10 minutes. Add remaining paprika and vinegar; cook for 2 minutes and return beef to pot. Add bay leaves, tomatoes, caraway seed, and salt; cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to low, and simmer for about an hour and a half.

After an hour and a half, add carrots and potatoes. Cook for another hour and fifteen minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate overnight.

Serve over cooked egg noodles tossed with butter. Garnish with a light sprinkle of paprika to serve.

Yields 8 servings (2/3 cup of goulash over 3 oz cooked egg noodles)

WW info:
core - 3 points (for egg noodles, shmaltz, and butter)
flex - 8 points

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