I always seem to have beef roasts in the freezer. They are often on sale where I shop and too good a deal to pass up. I had a lovely little 2 lb. sirloin roast (that I picked up for less than $5) that needed to be used up but I wasn’t in the mood for roast beef or pot roast. And so it became goulash – a wonderfully hearty stew, flavoured with paprika and tomatoes.
Any cut of beef will work for this dish, from a roasting cut to a stewing/marinating cut. As it will be cooking low and slow in the oven for several hours, even tougher cuts with come out fork-tender. You can vary the amount/types of paprika to your taste. Smoked paprika is very easy to find anymore, in the spice section of most grocery stores. It adds a lovely depth of flavour to this dish. Note that it comes in both sweet and hot. If you can find Hungarian paprika (sweet and/or hot), that would be great, too. If not, just the regular variety will do.
I love this dish served with rustic mashed potatoes (that’s what I call skin-left-on mashed potatoes) that I add some sour cream in to. It’s also nice with buttered noodles or rice. Add a vegetable on the side and it’s a great comforting meal.
Smoked Paprika Beef Goulash
Summary: This is a tasty meal that is a great use for beef roasts. It spends some time slow cooking in the oven but very little hands on time.
- 2 lb. beef roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (not too small)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. smoked sweet paprika
- 1 Tbsp. sweet paprika (or 1 Tbsp. smoked hot paprika, if you’d like some heat – a bit of cayenne will also work for some heat)
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. dried marjoram (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)
- 1 28oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes
- Optional: splash of red wine, if you happen to have some handy
- 2 medium red peppers, cut into chunks
- Salt and Pepper
- To serve:
- Sour cream
- Paprika, to sprinkle
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 300 ° F.
- In a large, oven-proof Dutch Oven, over medium-high heat on the stove-top, heat the oil until hot. Brown the beef on all sides, cooking only one layer at a time, doing several batches as necessary. Once browned, transfer them to a plate.
- Turn heat down to medium, stir in the onions and cook them for about 3 minutes, or until they begin to light golden in colour. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove pot from heat (important to ensure the paprika doesn’t burn), add the paprika and stir well. Return the meat to the pot and stir to combine. Sprinkle in the flour and stir. Return to heat. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook on the stove-top until it comes up to a simmer, then cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and transfer it to the centre rack of the oven to cook, covered, for 2 hours.
- Cut the peppers into chunks (about 1/2-inch x 1-inch in size). When the goulash has been in the oven for 2 hours, stir in the chopped peppers, replace the lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Just before serving, take the casserole out of the oven, let it stand for 5 minutes. Remove goulash to bowl. Sprinkle with a bit more paprika. Top with a large dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh, chopped parsley.
Number of servings (yield): 6