Every once and a while, the Wall Street Journal has a recipe that doesn't feature the word "artisanal," or require truffles, or some other ingredient that is either A) impossible to find, or B) $500/ounce, or C) both.
It's rare. But it happened this week, with a recipe for Hungarian Goulash, by Elissa Altman, based on the goulash her grandmother used to make. It's the only goulash Elissa was allowed to eat (read about it here, it's a good article).
Every spring, we buy beef from my nephew. This year, with both boys essentially out of the house, I reduced my order from the usual 1/4 (about 100 lbs of meat) to an 1/8 - which means I had to split a 1/4 with someone, which means you have to play nice. My beef partner wanted roasts, which my family tends not to be real thrilled about, but I was nice and said OK - so I had a blade roast in the freezer with no plan. Until I saw this goulash recipe.
The only thing in this recipe you may not have is the paprika. I admit I did go out and buy tomato puree, since it was the end of the garden season here - but I could have just pureed some canned tomatoes. I didn't have a russet potato, so I used a couple of red. The hardest part was cutting the roast - and you could probably use stew meat if you wanted to.
So here is the recipe, in case the WSJ link doesn't work for you:
- 2 1/2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 TBS oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 1/2 cups beef stock
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
- 2 stalks of celery, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
- 3 cups tomato passata or puree
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 1 large russet potato, sliced int 1/4" thick rounds
Oven at 300. In a large bowl, toss beef with salt and pepper and let it come to room temp, about 30 minutes.
Heat oil on medium heat in large lidded Dutch oven (I used a Le Creuset braiser, and had to remove about a cup of liquid before placing in the oven). Add the beef and brown on all sides; remove from pan and set aside.
Add onions to the pot and stir, cooking until translucent. Pour in half the stock and scrape pot to loosen all the beef and onion bits.
Add carrots and celery, stir well, the add beef and mix well. Add puree, rest of the stock and the paprika and stir well.
Increase heat to high, bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to a simmer and add the potatoes. Stir well, cover with lid and place in oven.
Cook 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Liquid should thicken somewhat. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve over rice or bread.
Time Saver: I made this for a late weeknight dinner - but I had cut everything up and put in separate ziploc bags in the fridge the day before. I do this for many recipes where the prep is the longest part (jambalaya is another example).