In case no one’s heard yet, there’s a bit of weather coming our way. A little thing everyone’s calling “Frankenstorm.” The predictions are that, a) it will all pass us by and we’ll hardly notice a thing, or b) it will strike like the hammer of Thor and plummet the entire state into a week without power.
The number one worry on my mind? Not fallen branches, or flooding, or any of the things most people would worry about: I worry about my freezer. I have a ton of food in my chest freezer, and I would just cry if I lost it all. So, thinking ahead, I decided I should use up some of my frozen meat yesterday, just in case the “hammer of Thor” option is the one that’s coming.
I had some stew meat in the freezer, so I immediately thought about my mother’s Hungarian Goulash. Only that’s served over noodles, and I can’t have noodles. I could do brown rice, maybe, but I wasn’t in the mood. I did have some gorgeous red new potatoes from our CSA share, though, so decided to incorporate them. And add some red wine. And other things. So, the end result was something between Hungarian Goulash, and my Irish Beef Stew. If those two got together and had a baby, this is what it would be. It’s richly flavorful with tastes of paprika and red wine and meat that simply falls apart.
And, all you do to make it is throw some stuff into a pot and then let it cook for a couple hours. How easy is that?
First, take some stew meat and toss it in a hot pan, letting it brown. When it’s mostly browned, stir in the paprika, and then add the onions and garlic and stir it around, letting it cook until the onions are soft.
Add the tomatoes and kind of mush them around, letting them cook down for 5 minutes or so, and then add the wine, broth, and spices.
I had these beautiful little organic red new potatoes that I’d just gotten Thursday as part of our CSA share, so I decided to put them in. I cut them up because they were organic and I wanted to check for any black spots, but if you’re using new potatoes too you wouldn’t have to.
So, toss in the potatoes. You want the liquid to be just enough to cover the potatoes, like this, so add more broth if you have to.
Mmmmm…doesn’t that look SPECTACULAR!?!
Pop a lid on the pot, turn the heat down low, and let it simmer for 2-3 hours. Occasionally, go stir it around just to make sure nothing’s burning or sticking to the bottom, but basically you can just let it go until it’s ready.
Alternately, this would work great in a crock pot. You’d just want to do all the steps up to putting in the tomatoes on the stove, and then you can put everything into a crock pot and let it go all day! Yummy dinner waiting for you when you get home from work!
This is what it looks like when it’s done. Both my hungarian goulash and Irish beef stew recipes would have thicker sauce because of added flour, but of course I can’t add flour. So this is a juicy, incredibly flavorful, broth-like consistency of a sauce.
You can serve it in bowls if you want, with more sauce, or serve with a slotted spoon on plates so that just a bit of the sauce comes with it.
Make this for dinner for yourself. I swear you won’t be disappointed!
Hungarian Beef Stew
- 2-3 lbs stew meat, or a chuck roast cut into cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 can diced, stewed tomatoes
- 1 1/2+ cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 2 lbs potatoes, cut up if large
Heat some oil in a large pan on high heat, and when it’s hot put in the stew meat. When the meat is mostly browned (just a couple minutes), season it with salt and pepper, and put in the paprika, stirring to fully incorporate. Add the onion and garlic and stir, and let it cook until the onions are mostly soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and let them cook down, sort of mushing them a little, for 5-10 minutes. Pour in the wine and broth, and add the rest of the spices and potatoes. If necessary, add more broth until the potatoes are just covered. Turn the heat down to very low and put on a lid and let it simmer for 2-3 hours.