So, as the temperature drops and the days shorten, our kitchen starts to smell less of vanilla, strawberries and lemon zest and more of delicious spices such as caraway, paprika, black pepper and bay leaf. Thus, I open a new category, Comfort Cooking, where I would like to share some of our belly, heart and soul warming recipes, old favorites as well as new acquaintances.
I will still bake, make no mistake about that, but as we turn from light pastas to soups, broths and stews, I would like to share some of that with you.
Now, the opening number is a recipe inspired by one from this book. (Yes, same edition as my baking book. I have 5 of them, planning on getting all 16. Yes, they are that good!) The goulash traditionalists out there might purse their lips a bit, but you know, everybody has their own recipe. Just like with chili con carne, there might be the original version, but usually, if the meal shares some basic ingredients and techniques, it is what it is. So for me, goulash is as goulash does!
So for 4 portions, you will need:
- 500 g of lean beef, diced*
- 500 g potatoes, peeled
- 1 large onion, diced
- 250 g mushrooms
- 2 cups fresh or frozen vegetables (I used baby carrots, peas and corn)
- 300 ml beef stock or 100 ml red wine and 200 ml beef stock
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 Tbsp tomato puree
- 3 tsp ground paprika**
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 30 g butter
- salt to taste
*As far as beef is concerned, don´t waste your sirloin, prime rib or any other steak cut. This recipe is ideal for slightly tougher, cheaper cuts, whatever you would use for a roast.
**The options are limitless. If you can get Hungarian or Spanish smoked paprika, go ahead. If not, whatever you can lay your hands on, just don´t use chili, only something mild.
Heat the oil and brown the meat. Put meat to one side, reheat the oil and throw paprika, marjoram, and black pepper in. Stir until you can smell the fragrance, then add onion and fry until translucent. Add mushrooms, fry until golden, then add flour and tomato puree and stir it well. Add the liquids, bring to a boil and return beef into the pot.
Lower the heat to minimum and let it simmer for approximately 2 hours, until the meat is nice and tender. Add vegetables for a couple of minutes and season to taste.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 190°C. Boil potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes and grate them. Transfer the stew into a baking dish (or single portion sized ramekins), cover with grated potatoes and sliced butter. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is nice, golden and crispy. And there you go, enjoy!
The goulash part can be prepared in advance and, as most stews, tastes better the second day. Also, it freezes well, so actually, make a load, you won´t regret it!
I took this post to party!