Friday, February 22, 2008

Beef Goulash with Dumplings

It ceases to amaze me how every recipe I make from comes out just perfect. How does she do it time and time again? Blows my mind.

Anyway, as you can see from the previous post it has been a cold and snowy day, the perfect day for soup, or home made mac & cheese, or....goulash!

This was my very first attempt at goulash. Tati makes it quite often but I'm not sure just how she makes it. When I told her I was making this tonight for supper she said "My sister says you have to have as much onions as you do meat". Her sister is a great cook. Well I guess her sister was right. There are a whopping 4 cups of thinly sliced onions in this recipe. Fortunately I love onions, so not a problem for me. I used my handy mandolin slicer and it took me about 2 minutes to get 4 cups. I also left out the caraway seeds cause:
1. I don't have any. 2. I don't like them.

Let me just say, this was so damn tasty. All the flavors mixed together perfectly, the paprika's make this whole dish a beautiful color. The dumplings were terrific too.

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp caraway seeds, toasted and ground
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon spicy Hungarian paprika
2 Tbsp minced fresh marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes (remove excess fat)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter

1 In a large covered sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and sugar until caramelized. Add the garlic and caraway seed. Cook another minute.

2 Add the sweet and spicy paprika, marjoram, thyme and bay leaf. Sauté another minute, until fragrant.

3 Add the tomato paste. Deglaze with the vinegar and the stock and add the pieces of beef, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook until very tender, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

4 To prepare the dumplings, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Combine with the milk and melted butter, mixing lightly. After the stew has cooked until tender in step 3, drop the dumpling batter by (heaping) teaspoonfuls into the simmering stew. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Once you have covered the pan, do not uncover while the dumplings are cooking! In order for them to be light and fluffy, they must steam. If you uncover the pan, the steam will escape and the dumplings will boil instead. After 15 minutes, test the dumplings with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the dumplings are done.
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