I asked David (my husband) to describe his favourite wintery beef goulash in a few words, he said rich, pause…comforting, pause…delicious, extended pause…and yum! This would have to be his most requested goulash, so much so that he’s even been know to request it in the middle of summer!
The beauty of any slow cooked goulash/stew is that you can use the cheapest cuts of meat, make a big batch, whack it in the oven (or slow cooker) and have an easy re-heat dinner for the next few nights. The best part is that the flavour intensifies and improves each day.
This recipe is inspired by my mum’s standard goulash with a few changes. I often add potato but David prefers extra carrots, as they’re sweeter, either way it tastes beautiful.
I like to serve it with brown rice and yoghurt, but mashed potatoes or crusty bread are equally good.
1.5kg beef chuck or braising steak, trimmed and cut into 5cm pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
12 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped (optional)
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
2 teaspoons paprika
6 tablespoons tomato passata/puree
3-4 cups (750ml-1L) boiling water (you may not require all the water)
2 bay leaves
250g button or cup mushrooms, cleaned (if using cup cut in half or quarter)
1) Preheat oven to 200°C.
2) In a large heavy-bottomed ovenproof casserole or saucepan (medium-high heat) heat olive oil and cook beef in batches, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go until browned all over. Transfer to a heatproof bowl.
3) In the same casserole or saucepan, reduce heat (low-medium) and add an extra splash of olive oil and onions, season with salt and saute until softened (5-7 minutes). Add garlic, stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add sun-dried tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and turn heat up to medium, cook until vegetables start to brown (3-5 minutes).
4) Add flour and stir to coat (2 minutes). Add paprika, stir through until fragrant but not burning (1-2 minutes). Stir through tomato passata (1-2 minutes) and return the cooked beef and juices to the pan. Pour over enough water to completely cover the meat and vegetables (1-2cm), season with extra salt and pepper and add bay leaves. Cover with a double sheet of tin foil so that it touches the liquid, then cover with lid and bake for 2-3 hours.
5) Once the beef is tender and easily falls away add mushrooms and stir through. If the liquid has dried up add a little extra boiling water, cover and bake for a further 20-30 minutes.
6) Taste and check seasoning, remove bay leaves and serve with brown rice and yoghurt, or if you’re feeling more indulgent, with creamy mashed potatoes
- Save time and make a day earlier for an easy dinner party feast. The flavours will improve overnight, simply reheat in the oven before your guests arrive, that way your house will smell amazing.
- Replace the beef with lamb or goat.