Hungarian Goulash with riceMy sister-in-law Marianne mentioned our Hungarian Goulash the other day. She says our nephews love it. It’s a great, beefy stew that really hits the spot in autumn, or on a rainy evening like yesterday, and the kitchen smells fantastic as it gets close to done.

We’ve been making our version for years and I can’t remember where it originally came from. This is not authentic Hungarian Goulash, especially since we scandalously added garlic to the recipe. Peeled but left whole, the garlic stays mild and mellow like roasted garlic, instead of the sharp and garlicky flavor you get from mincing it. It strikes a strong harmony with the onions, and the cloves are delicious if you’re lucky enough to get one.

Rather than incorporate sour cream into the sauce, we serve it as an optional topping. The rice should be something with a little flavor. We’ll usually mix wild rice with white, or use brown rice. Basmati rice would be great. Last night I cooked brown basmati.

Hungarian Goulash

(SERVES SIX)
  • 1.5 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds beef round in 1.5 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika (Pride of Szeged brand is good)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled but whole
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 14 oz. can of beef broth
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • 3 cups cooked rice (see above)
  • Sour cream (optional) for topping

Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium/low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring regularly, until golden brown, then stir the beef cubes in.

Mix the paprika with the water in a small bowl or cup. Pour this over the beef and onions and cook, stirring, until the water has evaporated.

Add the vinegar, tomato paste, garlic cloves, marjoram, caraway seed, salt and pepper, and mix well. Turn the stew into a cast iron Dutch oven (preferred) or a large, covered casserole, then add just enough beef broth to cover. Bake, covered, at 325°F (165°C) for 2 hours and 30 minutes, or until the beef is tender. Remove and serve over the cooked rice, sprinkled with chopped parsley, with sour cream as an optional topping.

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