A recent trip to Vienna, Austria inspired me greatly.
Vienna is a beautiful city located in the heart of Europe. It is a gem of a city that overflows with a spectacular history. This is a town where many a contribution to mankind have been made in the areas of art, science, music, and food. Viennese cuisine has always struck me, as a chef, as practical and delicious, and that’s the lure of it.
If I were to say: Apple Strudel, Weiner Schnitzel, Chicken Paprikash, Bread Dumplings or Goulash- you would, most likely, recognize them all. These are just some of the many classic Viennese dishes that have stood the test of time and are internationally known.
My all-time favorite is beef goulash. It was one of the very first dishes I ever learned to make back in my culinary school days.
Here is an easy recipe to make that can easily be adjusted for small or large groups. Once you have all ingredients in the pan there is very little left for you to do.
Except let it simmer gently for about an hour and become absolutely delicious!
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 2 pounds beef chuck cut into 2 inch cubes ( alternatively can use stewing meat pre-cut by your butcher.)
- 3 medium onions, cut into large dice
- 1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 5 cups good beef stock
- 4 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 4 garlic medium cloves (crushed)
- 2 teaspoons ground caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 small bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Rinse off the beef pieces and pat them dry.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, to taste.
- On stovetop, heat a medium-sized casserole (medium high heat). Add the oil.
- Once the oil begins to gently smoke, add the beef in batches and sear well on all sides.
- Remove the meat from the pan to a dish that will collect any juices that run out from them.
- Lower the flame to medium. Add the onions and gently cook, string often. ( Try not to color the onions to much).
- Once the onions have softened add the garlic and cook an additional 3 min, just until the garlic begins to brown.
- Add the paprika, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the vinegar, scraping up all caramelized bits that have formed at the bottom of the pan. Cook one for minute more.
- Now add the stock and remaining spices.
- Return meat to the pan, along with any reserved juices and stir through. Bring back to a strong simmer and cover with a lid
- Place in the oven and cook 1 hour. The meat should be fork tender.
- Once removed from the oven, let the goulash rest for 5-10 min on your stove top.
- Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
Traditionally goulash can be accompanied with: a dollop of sour cream, boiled potatoes, gherkins, dumplings, noodles or simply some good crusty bread.