Monday, December 7, 2015

Hungarian Goulash With Homemade Noodles (Beef Stew Recipe)

I'm gonna warn you from the start - this is real comfort food! If there's anything that this is not, it's not low carb/watching your waistline/lightweight fare. This is soul-satisfying, hot on a cold day, filling, and healing for your biggest heartbreak type-food. 

It's December, and it's time for homemade Hungarian goulash. Use a big pot, and make a lot, enough so that you have it to eat for at least three days. If you don't, you will wish that you had. This is my grandmother's recipe as my mother taught me how to make it. And although it's not written down anywhere in any cookbook or on any recipe card in our homes, it's engraved in our hearts. This recipe makes enough for a big potful, and I usually pack up a container to share with another family member or friend, and my two daughters and I still have plenty left over to enjoy for a few days. The homemade noodles are an optional addition, but only add even more delicious goodness to this recipe. Enjoy!

In a large soup pot, melt about 2-3 tablespoons of solid shortening on medium-high heat on your stove-top. I use Crisco solid shortening. 

I use two pounds of beef stew cubes or sirloin cubes. You can cut the entire recipe in half if you like and only use one pound. I go through the beef cubes and cut down any that are too large into smaller sized pieces. 

Add the beef cubes to the heated shortening to brown them, mixing well while they cook. Browning the steak cubes is what will help create a rich gravy that is the base of the stew. 

Once all of the steak cubes are evenly browned, add water to cover them. (This photo was taken before I covered the cubes with water.) Cook until fork-soft.

Peel and chop a few carrots and set aside. We will add those later because if we put them in too soon they will break down too quickly. 2-3 carrots are usually enough but I always add a couple extra just because I love carrots. 

Chop 1 stalk of celery and one medium sized onion. Add the celery and onion to the pot with the steak cubes, continuing to cook over medium heat. 

Wash and peel 3-4 medium sized potatoes and then cut into large cubes. Put the potato cubes into a separate pot, add water until potatoes are covered, and boil for about 10 minutes until cooked.  

Add the carrots to the pot with the steak cubes, celery and onion. Once the potatoes have finished cooking, add the potatoes AND about half of the water that you cooked the potatoes in to the main pot with the steak cubes, carrots, celery and onion. Stir. 

Simmer the goulash on low heat. To thicken the broth, add 3T of flour to 1/2 cup of COLD water and mix well until all flour is dissolved. Add water/flour mixture to the soup pot and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If I make a lot of broth with my goulosh then I  also like to add 2-3 individual packets of G. Washington's Rich Brown Seasoning broth mix to boost the flavor. Add 1 tablespoon of Hungarian paprika and mix well. (You can add additional paprika if you like.) Cover the goulash and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally while you make the homemade noodles.

Now make the noodles! 
In a mixer add 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 cups of flour, and about one half cup of cold water. Mix well until the dough is sticky and soft. 

This dough is perfect! 

Heat a pot of water to a rolling boil. I use a pasta pot with a draining insert. This makes it easy to remove the noodles when they are finished cooking. Once the water is boiling you will use a teaspoon to add half-teaspoon sized dollops of dough to the boiling water. 

Adding dough to the boiling water. You will need to use your finger to remove the dough from the spoon. I couldn't do that while taking the photo! I try to stretch out each dollop of dough so that it makes a longer, thinner noodle. Repeat this process until all of the dough is used up.

Stir the noodles with a wooden spoon. They cook in a just a minute or two, so by the time you are finished adding all the dough to the pot they are usually finished cooking. 

Here are some noodles that are the ideal size. 

Remove the noodles from the pot and drain, then add them directly to the stew.

Slice some crusty bread and serve with butter.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy this great recipe. Maybe it will become a favorite in your family as it is in mine.