For the last year I’ve been trying to focus on speedy meals that don’t require me to be chained to the hob for hours on end, so in that spirit I spend three hours of last Sunday bubbling some stew.
The recipe in The Good Granny Cookbook says it serves six, but I reckon with a bit of veg and maybe an extra potato it could stretch to eight easily. I halved the ingredients and it still served me and him two nights in row.
For six you will need: sunflower oil, 3 onions, 900g of chuck steak (I used casserole steak) 3 tablespoons of sweet Hungarian paprika (the book says to use a fresh tin of paprika, I just used normal smoked paprika) 2 tablespoons tomato purée, a garlic clove, a glass of red wine, a bouquet garni, 4 medium potatoes, 1 red pepper, and 200ml of sour cream. You can also add 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds, but I couldn’t find any.
Firstly, as always, peel and chop the onions, and cut the steak up into 3cm cubes. Get out a large pot that can go on the hob, and heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a frying pan. When the oil had heated up brown the onions, and then chuck them into the pot. Then sprinkle the paprika into the pan and roll the beef around in it, keep stirring until the beef has been browned on all sides, then add to the pot.
If there is any paprika left add it to the pot, then throw in the garlic cube, tomato purée, the bouquet garni (mine came as a little teabag, which was exciting), the wine, a little salt, and enough hot water to cover the meat.
Bring to the boil – stirring well – then turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for two hours. That’s right. Two hours.
After about an hour and three quarters, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 inch cubes and boil them for 5 minutes. Drain and add to the pot, with 2tsp of caraway seeds if you’re using them. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes.
By this time you should have washed out the frying pan you did the meat in, so out it back on the hob, quite low with a bit for oil in, and while its heating up de-seed the pepper and cut it into thin strips.
Gently cook the peppers for a few minutes, then stir them into the goulash and serve with a dollop of sour cream. And don’t forget the pick the bouquet garni out.
The first night we had it is was with a whole head of broccoli, and the second with noodles. I preferred it with the veg, but my lover preferred the noodles.
I didn’t want to risk freezing it because of the potatoes, so I left it in the pot on the hob overnight and it was fine. The meat was so tender it fell apart on the fork, and the flavour was really full and autumnal. It was absolutely perfect for a rainy October Sunday.
I’d imagine this would be a good meal to make in one of those slow cooker things, but I don’t have one. I’m definitely making this again, on a slow day…
Good Granny Cookbook by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall (Short Books 2007 ISBN 978 1 906021 10 8)