Goulash is a comfort food for me. Growing up with a mother from the Old Country – Germany – my family ate it a lot in the winter, because it reminded her of home. It’s warm, hearty and makes the house smell wonderful as it slowly cooks.
In this country, goulash has become kind of a catch-all term for a lot of dishes, usually involving beef, some sort of tomato or stew base, and usually noodles. But real European goulash is just a rich, thick beef soup with lots of paprika. It can be served over noodles, but it doesn’t have to be.
Goulash apparently originated in Hungary, but variations are found all over Europe. This version is based on the German-ized dish I ate as a child, but because it’s made in a slow cooker, it’s a good weeknight supper. Turn it on before you leave for work, and you’ll return to a home that smells fragrant and warm – and a dinner that will be ready with just a few minutes of final cooking.
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup yellow onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup water
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs sweet paprika
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sour cream
Cooked egg noodles
Place beef in pot cover with water and bring to boil. Drain, rinse and place in slow cooker. Add onion, garlic. and season with salt and pepper.
Whisk together 1/2 cup of water, tomato paste, and paprika; pour over beef mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours.
Combine flour, remaining water, and sour cream; stir into meat mixture. Cook, uncovered, on HIGH for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Serve with egg noodles.