After 3 days of near torrential rain, my patience was wearing paper thin. I hadn’t left the house and I was going a little stir crazy. This also meant that I hadn’t been out to purchase anything fresh to eat. After a quick wrestle with my over stocked freezer, I yanked out a large piece of beef. Physically unable to put it back, I was forced to make a quick recipe decision. The misery of the rain reminded me other misery of Hungary… Well, the “Central European cheeriness” at least. Hungarian food is one of my secret favourites. Rich, heavy and absolutely delicious. I decided to change up my old favourite goulash recipe as it’s a little on the fatty side, so created an altogether more friendly version instead. I hope you enjoy – I most certainly did.

1kg chuck steak (cubed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
4 tablespoons paprika
4 fresh bay leaves
1 cup red wine
600ml beef stock (hot)
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons sour cream
parsley (for garnishing)

Heat the oil in a large casserole pan until just hot. Add the onions an sweat for 3-4 minutes before adding the garlic, caraway and bay leaves. Turn up the heat and add the beef. Fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned. Add the paprika and then the red wine. Stir well. Reduce the heat to medium and let the sauce bubble for 3-4 minutes, adding a little water it if becomes too dry. Pour in the hot stock and season with plenty of salt & pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer partially covered for 2 1/2 hours until the beef is soft – add more stock or water if needed throughout that time if it becomes too reduced. At the end of the cooking time, stir in the sour cream and bring to light simmer. Remove from the heat, check for seasoning and then FINALLY serve!!

Sprinkle over the parsley and serve alongside rice or spätzle with lots of vegetables! Be sure to add a little dollop of sour cream over your portion just before eating…

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