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Hungarian Beef Goulash

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My grandfather ate with this fork!
Antique Walnut & Pewter Fork circ. 1880 Bohemia
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Recipe by: Chef John V., A Good Cooking Recipe!

History: This is an updated version of my Grandmother Rauscher's recipe.  Note that this recipe isn't like it is made in Hungary where it is poor man's food. I've upgraded it to reflect what American diners like.

Description: Stewed beef in paprika sauce with onions, peppers and garlic.

Serving size: 4

Preparation time: about 2 hours 30 minutes

Amount/Measure/Ingredient:

2 pounds beef stew meat, chuck
1/4 cup oil, light flavored olive or vegetable
2 tbsp. clarified butter + 2 tbsp. clarified butter for sautéing the vegetables
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 quart onions, sliced thin
1 tbsp. garlic, chopped fine
1 cup fresh red peppers, chopped fine
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup paprika, Spanish style or real Hungarian
1 bay leaf, small like the size of a quarter
1 tbsp. fresh marjoram or 2 tsp. dried
1 cup dry white wine
2 tsp. sugar
1 quart hot veal stock or canned beef broth
2 tbsp. tomato paste
additional salt and pepper to your taste

Preparation:

Pre-heat a heavy bottom braising or sauté pan over medium heat; mix the flour, salt and pepper together, dredge the meat in the flour and shake off the excess. Add the oil and butter to the pan then add the meat and brown it on all sides. Adjust the heat as you need so that the meat doesn't burn or boil in the pot. You may want to do this in 2 or 3 batches. When brown remove the meat and keep it warm. Now add the additional 2 tbsp. clarified butter, onions, red peppers and garlic and cook about 2 minutes, add 2 tbsp. flour and cook slowly for 3-4 minutes longer. Add the remaining ingredients starting with the paprika, stirring after each addition, finishing with the wine, then the hot stock. Stir until smooth then add the browned beef, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook slowly for about 1 1/2 hour or until tender. Skim off any oil that rises to the top during the cooking and discard it. Check and stir the goulash occasionally so it doesn't stick or burn.

To serve adjust the seasonings to your taste, remove the bay leaf. You may adjust the thickness with cornstarch dissolved in a little water to thicken it or add some water to thin it. The sauce shouldn't be too thick, it should be more like the consistency of heavy cream.

Serve with buttered noodles, green beans and slices of rye bread. Don't forget Sour Cream!

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