Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hungarian Beef Goulash with Dumplings

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew of meat, seasoned heavily with paprika. I love making traditional dishes from countries around the world, and was excited to try this comforting classic.

When it comes to making soups and stews, most recipes make a massive quantity. I was excited to see a recipe for Hungarian Beef Goulash with Dumplings in One Pan, Two Plates, a cookbook filled with recipes serving 2 people, and only using a single pan. I thought this would be a unique method for making goulash that was perfect for just myself with one leftover meal for another night.

This was super easy to make, and yet developed a lot of flavor in a short amount of time. The dumplings are a really nice addition, although not necessarily part of the classic presentation.

I will say that my potatoes didn't cook too evenly once I added the dumplings to steam on top, because I wasn't able to mix the goulash at that point, but after the dumplings finished I gently removed them and then seasoned and cooked the goulash another few minutes to make sure everything was cooked evenly.

I loved how hearty and satisfying this goulash is! The sour cream garnish really balances everything out, and adds a nice cooling element to the finish.

Hungarian Beef Goulash with Dumplings
Serves 2
(From One Pan, Two Plates)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices bacon, chopped
12 ounces/340 g top sirloin or flat-iron steak, trimmed and cut into 1-in/ 2.5-cm cubes
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2-in / 12-mm dice
1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and cut into 1/2-in / 12-mm dice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-in / 12-mm dice
2 cups/480 ml beef broth
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup/65 g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup/60 ml milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup/55 g sour cream

Heat a 12-in/30.5-cm skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until it has given off its fat but isn’t crispy yet, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and 1/2 tsp salt and spread the beef cubes out in an even layer in the pan. Let the meat brown on one side without moving it, about 3 minutes. Turn the meat with tongs or a fork to brown on a second side, another 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika and tomato paste and continue to sauté until the vegetables begin to soften and the bottom of the pan gets nice and brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add the potatoes, beef broth, vinegar and a few grinds of pepper and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Combine the milk and butter in a cup and microwave on high for 10 seconds at a time until the butter is melted. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Drop the batter by tablespoonful into the simmering stew; you should have enough for about eight dumplings.

Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the stew until the vegetables and dumplings are tender, about 15 minutes. (Don’t peek! The steam will be released and your dumplings may not be as puffy and light as they could be.) To check for doneness, run a toothpick into a dumpling. It should come out with dry crumbs adhering to it, not wet and gooey. If it’s wet, cover and cook another 3 minutes and check again.

Scoop the dumplings into warmed bowls. Taste the stew for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle the stew over the dumplings and top each portion with a dollop of the sour cream. Serve hot.


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