Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Goulash with Spaetzle

When your computer dies on a monday night, you know it's not going to be a good week. If you've been wondering why it's been so quiet on Beyond Salmon, that's why. Having to re-install windows and all my applications, dealing with physical therapy appointments for my back, vet appointment for our cat, and craziness at work was just too much. I don't mean to bore you with my whining, but is it friday yet? Sometimes you need an emergency weekend.

I was going to start this post with "Nothing was going right this week." But that would not be quite true. The goulash with spaetzle was going very right. In fact, this comfort food saved my sanity this week because I could count on a pot of this great stew waiting for me when I got home. I've been itching to make a goulash ever since Diana's post on Off the Bone about her trip to Budapest. Diana's description of this glorious stew reminded me of our honeymoon in Prague, and it suddenly dawned on me that I'd never tried making goulash before. This situation had to be remedied at once. I basically followed Diana's recipe, but couldn't help incorporating a bit of Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon technique, and an extra slow, extra long braise. The result was a spoon tender, melt in your mouth stew that is perfect for comforting people in distress (even ones with broken computers).

Serves 6-8

3 Lb beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Tbsp lard or oil
2 onions, finely sliced
2 medium carrots, finely sliced
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 Tbsp flour
4 cups beef stock
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Dry the beef well on paper towels
  3. Set a large, heavy, oven proof pot over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp lard and wait for it to melt. Add as much beef as will fit in one layer without crowding the pot and brown well on all sides. You'll have to do it in batches. Remove beef to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining Tbsp lard, onions and carrots to the pot and cover. Turn down the heat to medium-low, and cook stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender and starting to brown, 5-7 minutes.
  5. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Return beef to the pot, season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in paprika and flour. Cook stirring constantly until no streaks of flour remain. Continue to cook stirring for another minute.
  6. Add beef stock, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Then cover and set in the middle of the oven for 3 and 1/2 hours. The stew is done when the beef is spoon tender.
Cool completely and store in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze. As all stews, this one tastes better when reheated.

Serve with spaetzle, noodles, potatoes, or just good crusty bread.


Anonymous said...

Looks yummy, and I do trust Diana's recipes, but where are the spaetzle? (My grandmother calls them nokedle, and though I can make them by feel, I don't actually have a recipe for them.)

Ilva said...

Sorry to hear about your almost lousy week, I hope you're back is better and that you didn't loose too much stuff in the computer crash! Lovely gulash, I love stews, I just go on eating and eating when I have one... not to talk about how good they are the day after!

Helen said...

Hi Danielle,

I got the spaetzle recipe from epicurious. Here it is:


chili&vanilia said...

Hi Helen! This looks very delicious! I have posted about about an authentic Hungarian goulash recipe in English on my blog, check it out if you are interested how we cook it at home:)
Zsofi from Budapest (now Brussels)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Helen!

Comforting indeed! It looks beautiful and I hope it helped you feel better after the week you had!

Kalyn Denny said...

Sorry to hear things are not going well. This too shall pass. I love goulash, but I haven't ever had spaetzle. Just as well, I don't think it could possibly be made low carb could it?

Fran said...

This looks so delicious. I love your recipe.

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Chris said...

Gulash with noodles is one of the few dishes my husband can prepare :-) It's delicious. The recipe he prepares is with red bell peppers and spicy paprika.

Chris -