It’s Valentine’s Day! So we thought a recipe from One Pan, Two Plates: 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two was just the ticket.
Cosy-up together with this warming goulash and a bottle of wine (or two).
Hungarian Beef Goulash with PAPRIKA and DUMPLINGS
START TO FINISH: 45 minutes
HANDS-ON TIME: 30 minutes
Beef goulash . . . it even sounds warm and homey. Sure to warm up hungry tummies on cold evenings, this stew is especially nice because it’s stocked with vegetables, flavoured with sweet paprika, enriched with sour cream, and topped with dumplings that would make your grandmother cry happy tears.
|1 tbsp olive oil
2 slices bacon, chopped
12 oz/340 g top sirloin or flat-iron steak, trimmed and cut into 1-in/ 2.5-cm cubes
1 small yellow onion, cut into ½-in / 12-mm dice
1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and cut into ½-in / 12-mm dice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
|1 tbsp tomato paste
3 new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-in / 12-mm dice
2 cups/480 ml beef broth
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup/65 g all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup/60 ml milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup/55 g sour cream
- Heat a 12-in/30.5-cm skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until it has given off its fat but isn’t crispy yet, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and ½ tsp salt and spread the beef cubes out in an even layer in the pan. Let the meat brown on one side without moving it, about 3 minutes. Turn the meat with tongs or a fork to brown on a second side, another 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika and tomato paste and continue to sauté until the vegetables begin to soften and the bottom of the pan gets nice and brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add the potatoes, beef broth, vinegar and a few grinds of pepper and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and ¼ tsp salt. Combine the milk and butter in a cup and microwave on high for 10 seconds at a time until the butter is melted. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Drop the batter by tablespoonful into the simmering stew; you should have enough for about eight dumplings.
- Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the stew until the vegetables and dumplings are tender, about 15 minutes. (Don’t peek! The steam will be released and your dumplings may not be as puffy and light as they could be.) To check for doneness, run a toothpick into a dumpling. It should come out with dry crumbs adhering to it, not wet and gooey. If it’s wet, cover and cook another 3 minutes and check again.
- Scoop the dumplings into warmed bowls. Taste the stew for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle the stew over the dumplings and top each portion with a dollop of the sour cream. Serve hot.
It’s that easy: I direct you to brown the meat and then add vegetables, paprika and tomato paste, and cook until it all browns on the bottom of the pan. Don’t stress over what might seem like a sticky pan; the browned bits will all come up when you add the broth and the flavour of the stew will be the richer for it.
Extra hungry? For a lovely salad to pair with this stew, peel, seed and thinly slice a cucumber and blend it with 1 to 2 tbsp sour cream, a splash of white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
In the glass: Every now and then a Merlot is the right wine for a dish—and this is one of those times.
Text copyright © 2013 Carla Snyder
Photographs by Jody Horton