Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Goulash

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE The Smitten Kitchen blog. She is my first look-to for my weekly menu and every recipe I've made from her rocks.

Looking for something to do with the grass-fed stew cuts I have in my freezer, I happened upon her goulash recipe. Now I don't think I've ever actually had goulash before, but beef and paprika served over wide noodles? What's not to love? Because I was using stew meat instead of her called-for chuck roast and because I adore my slow-cooker, I decided at 2am last night that I really should make this a slow-cooker version. A decision which I somewhat regretted this morning as I did my 'crazy cooking Mama' impression. Tasting it tonight, the crazy was totally worth it.

Her original recipe is linked above, my changes are below.

Goulash can be made into either a soup or stew (I made it thick like a stew and am serving it over broken pappardella).

Makes about 16 cups, serving 12

5 slices bacon, chopped
3 pounds grass-fed stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons paprika (preferably Hungarian sweet - it's the kind in the red box)
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
1 cup white wine (or less if your husband drinks your cooking wine - ahem)
1 to 5 cups water (use the former to make a stew, the latter to make a soup)
1 teaspoon salt
2 red bell peppers, diced

  • In an 8-quart heavy kettle* cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to the slow cooker. In fat remaining in kettle, brown stew meat in small batches over high heat, transferring it as browned with slotted spoon to slow cooker
  • Reduce heat to moderate and add oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Stir in paprika, caraway seeds, and flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick.) Stir in broth and water, boil, stirring. Transfer to slow cooker and stir everything to blend.
  • Cook on low all day (I did about 9-5). Add bell pepper and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve over pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.

*My slow cooker has an insert that lets me cook on the stove top but since it's non-stick I chose to cook this in my Le Creuset Dutch oven and then transfer everything to the slow cooker to simmer.

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