This Hungarian Beef Stew recipe is all about paprika! That along with roasted red peppers, carrots, onions and of course, grass fed beef.
We based this recipe off of a Traditional Hungarian Ghoulash recipe we saw on America's Test Kitchen (Cook's Illustrated). It's actually quite simple to make, but it does take a long time to cook in the oven because you cook it on very low heat for 2.5 - 3 hours. Some of the techniques they use are counter-intuitive (don't caramelize the onions or brown the beef), but they work. Best of all, this one is one pot easy!
When you start doing your prep work and see the huge pile of diced onions, you might think "this can't be right", but trust us, you need all these onions. By the end, these onions melt away and mix with the paprika and roasted red peppers to create a deep, rich sauce.
3.5 – 4 lbs of grass fed chuck roast cut into chunks and salted (you can use stew meat or any roast cut into chunks, but Chuck is the best)
12 oz roasted red bell peppers
1/3 cup Hungarian Paprika (Cooks Illustrated swears by the Spice House brand)
2 TBS tomato Paste
4 large onions diced (these dissolve to create the sauce)
5 carrots cut into 2 inch chunks
2 beets, cubed
2 tsp sea salt
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain organic goat yogurt
2 tsp vinegar
Key Tip: This recipes is all about the paprika and you need to use a high quality variety that is still fresh and flavorful. The brighter, more vibrant the color, the more likely it's higher quality. We get ours from the farmer's market, but you can always go by Cook's Illustrated's test winner which is the Spice House Blend.
- Cut your roast into stew sized chunks, salt, cover and set aside.
- Blend the roasted red bell pepper, paprika, tomato paste, and vinegar in a food processor or blender and set aside.
- Put a large cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat (a quality cast iron dutch oven is a must have pot in your kitchen. they cook fantastically, brown beautifully and clean up is a dream. This one from Amazon featured to the right is a good deal).
- Add some cooking oil, add the onions, some salt and cook them for about 10 minutes. DO NOT let them caramelize. You're just sweating them. The paprika will bring all the smokiness you need.
- Next add your blended mix of roasted peppers and paprika. Stir it in and cook the mixture for another 10 - 15 minutes until the sauce starts to stick to the bottom of the pot and form a gummy paste. This is creating flavor!
- Add the uncooked beef to the pot. Notice, unlike most recipes, you do NOT sear or brown the meat first.
- Add in the carrots, the beets and one bay leaf. Add some kosher sea salt, and then mix everything in. Cover with a lid and place in a 325 degree oven for 2 to 2.5 hours. Notice that we are not adding any liquid at this time. That's because the onions provide plenty of liquid as they slowly cook down.
- After the 2 - 2.5 hours, remove from oven and add no more than 1 cup of beef broth. Mix it in, cover again and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven, take out the bay leaf and then add 1/4 cup of plain goat yogurt and a splash of vinegar. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Serve this over potatoes or noodles. The color is vibrant and bold, but the flavor is surprisingly mild, yet rich. The first serving is great, but the leftovers are even better because the spice penetrate even further.