15 Jan 2012

Florence's Beef Goulash

It began, the craving, while I was watching Sherlock Holmes' movie at the cinema with hubby. There were so many scenes where people were munching away and whatever it was they were eating looked ever so delicious.

Then came the scene where Sherlock said, "Delicious Hedgehog Goulash..." he and Watson were guests of a band of French gypsies. That did it for me, I had to have Goulash. Good hearty plate of Goulash with freshly baked crusty bread. And so the search for an excellent Goulash recipe began. And after a night of scouring the net, I found it!

Sunday afternoon found me busily performing culinary martial arts in the kitchen. The smell that permeated the room as the stew simmered on the stove was just heavenly. We were all looking forward to dinner after a good swim in the pool.

Then came the time, served with a dollop of sour cream accompanied by focaccia grilled with my special home made Garlic Butter spread, the family was ready for the first bite. And my oh my, it was just superb.

I don't know if it was the addition of bell peppers grilled to sweetness, the wine vinegar or the turkey bacon grease. But whatever it was, this recipe is a definite winner.

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 pounds boneless beef shank, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Place a large heavy pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Fry for about 5 minutes until crisp and remove to a paper towel and reserve. Add the beef to the hot bacon fat and brown it evenly on all sides, turning with tongs; season generously with salt and pepper. While the beef is searing, sprinkle the flour evenly in the pot and continue to stir to dissolve any clumps. Add a little oil if necessary to keep the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Toss in the onions, garlic, roasted peppers, paprika, and caraway; cook and stir for 2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the vinegar, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, covered, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes. Crumble the reserved bacon into the stew and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir the sour cream into the goulash just before serving. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

Source: Food Network, Beef Goulash by Tyler Florence

My Review
It was just everything you would imagine a Beef Goulash to smell, look and taste like...and more. I've made Goulash' before but this recipe just takes the cake. What is it? The addition of grilled bell peppers? The turkey bacon grease? Not sure, but first the smell that permeated the room got everyone hungry. Then came the first bite served with good crusty bread grilled with a generous spread of my own home made garlic butter. And to think this Goulash has yet to spend its time mellowing overnight. I am sure it would be even more incredible tomorrow. Easy to make as a Goulash should be and sublime to devour. Five stars for sure. The ratings and reviews (all 43 of them were five stars) did not lie. 

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