Hungarian Goulash to the rescue!

Hello, all. Being busy is never a solid excuse, but I’m going to go ahead and use it to explain my lack of noms the last couple of months. Let’s not dwell on the negative, though! Here we are, friends forever, food to be eaten, love to be shared.

My grandma used to make the most killer goulash when we were kids, complete with buttery egg noodles and a tall glass of ice cold…milk. I’ve since retired the milk component, and for this meal the egg noodles got the heave-ho as well, but the basic goulash brings back so many memories I nearly teared up with joy during the meat-flouring process.

Goulash is basically a spicy, paprika-y stew that you typically serve over egg noodles and snarf down with rage-blackout like enthusiasm. My aunt gave me the secret ingredient from good ole grandma, so the final product was insanely delicious.

A do a lot of Sunday cooking preparation for the week and this was an excellent choice. It saves well and can be served with rice, noodles, polenta, etc. I bet it would even be tasty shredded and put in a lavosh wrap! It’s very easy to make and simmers on it’s own for a good while, so it is pretty down-to-earth recipe to attempt.

I adapted the recipe from this one and my aunt’s rendition of G-ma’s.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Vegetable or canola oil

3 onions, sliced

2 heaping T sweet paprika

2 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1 t garlic, freshly chopped or in powder form

2 T flour

3 pounds stew beef, patted dry

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1.5 c V8 juice (secret ingredient! shazam!)

1 c red wine

an extra teaspoon of paprika

Heat some of the oil in your fancy dutch oven until they are soft but not yet brown. When they’re ready, remove them from the pot and set aside. You can do this recipe in a crock pot, which means throwing it all in and letting it simmer for about 9 hours. I like doing it on the stove to get that nice crust on the meat, which is just so darn tasty.

In the meantime, put the salt, pepper, paprika, flour, and garlic in a large ziplock bag with the dry stew beef and shake it like a salt shaker. Make sure the pieces are completely coated.

Heat a bit more of the oil in the pan and brown the meat on all sides. It took me two batches and I had to reduce the pan with some wine to loosen up the browned-on bits, and add a bit more oil to the pan in between batches.

Reduce the pan a bit more with some of the wine, then add everything to the pot: the onions, browned meat, V8 juice, tomato paste, rest of the wine, and the last teaspoon of paprika.

Simmer for a couple of hours, or until the meat is tender. I took many, many taste tests from this because it was the juiciest, most flavorful pile of amazing I’d had in awhile. I mean LOOK at it, isn’t it a beaut??

Oh, and I threw in some broccoli at the last minute to healthy-it up a bit. It was a delightful addition.

Oh yea. Check out that angle. Mmhmm.

Make it and thank me later!


Meat Lasagna

Oh sure.  You could slap some beef ragu on some penne, maybe mix in a little cream if you’re feeling frisky, and then call it a day.  But where’s the love?  The comfort? The blood, sweat, tears??  If you want people to think you’re merely average then I implore you to follow through with the above method of entertaining.  It’ll get you a solid 3 out of 5.

But not this lady.  I want people (and by people, sometimes I mean just me…sometimes it’s all just for me!) to know that I positively slaved over a complicated process that would make even Leonardo cross his eyes in wonderment.  And why?

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