(Authentic Hungarian Kettle Goulash)
To serve 4 to 6
2 tbsp. lard
1 cup finely chopped onions
˝ tsp. finely chopped garlic
3 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
2 pounds stew meat (preferably chuck) cut into 1 ˝ inch cubes
˝ tsp. caraway seeds
4 cups chicken or beef stock (or a mixture), fresh or canned, or 4 cups water
˝ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium-size boiling potatoes
1 lb. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 ˝ cups)
2 medium-size green peppers, with seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
˝ tsp. marjoram
Heat the lard in a 4- or 5-quart heavy saucepan until a light haze forms over it, then reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic. Cook them 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are lightly colored. Off the heat, stir in the paprika. Stir until the onions are well coated. (Paprika is very delicate and can burn easily.)
Add the beef cubes, caraway seeds and stock or water to the pan and season with the salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil and partially cover the pan. Simmer for 1 hour, or until the beef is almost tender.
Parboil the potatoes in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they can be easily penetrated with the point of a sharp knife for Ľ inch or so. Peel them, cut them into 1 ˝-inch cubes and add them, the tomatoes, the peppers and marjoram to the pan. Partially cover again and cook over medium heat for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are done and the beef is really tender. Skim off the surface fat and taste for seasoning.
Serve the goulash in deep individual plates or bowls.
P.S. Wolfgang Puck highlighted Hungarian goulash on Food TV once. The man in Vienna cooking it said the meat and onions should be of equal portions! Sounds pretty good to me although I have never made it that way. I buy Maggi brand Spätzle and serve the goulash over these German style noodles. It’s excellent and is, according to Wolfgang Puck, a very traditional way of serving it. I also like more paprika than prescribed above, more potatoes for filler and used canned peeled diced tomatoes with the seeds. Of course, I don’t use the lard either. Vegetable oil works just fine. Ha!