Sunday, 22 February 2015


Beef Goulash
February has been a cold month here. We had a fairly mild Christmas, but the cold came in January and has continued throughout February. We've had no snow worth talking about, but the cold and damp just creeps into your bones. At work, we have a visitor from Pennsylvania, where the temperatures are much lower than Galway; but she says she has never felt so cold before.

So, having a recipe for a delicious, warming dish, such as this Goulash, is a real bonus. There's nothing quite like coming home from the cold, wind and rain/sleet/hail to find an amazing pot of warmth and goodness just waiting for you.

Once again, this is based on a recipe from Miss South's Slow Cooked - a veritable treasure trove of recipes. I had to make some changes because I didn't have quite the right ingredients, but I'm putting that right for the next time.


Cut about 500g stewing beef (I used round steak) into cubes and toss it is 1tbsp flour. Put this in the crock pot with 1 onion, chopped, and 2 garlic cloves, cut up small. I used 75g peppers from a jar, mixed with a tin of tomatoes, blended in a food blender with 2tbsp paprika and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Add this paste to the meat in the crock pot and mix well. The recipe calls for smoked paprika and alway 1tsp caraway seeds - which I didn't have.

Add another tin of tomatoes (I used tinned cherry tomatoes, but the recipe calls for plum) and a beef stock cube. Make sure the meat is covered and add some hot water if necessary (I didn't).

I did all this the evening before cooking, and left the pot in the fridge overnight. Next morning I took it out, and left it cooking on LOW for the day, about 10 hours. When I came home, I cooked up a pot of  potatoes for mashing.

The Outcome

This dish was just what we needed on a cold, wet Friday evening. The beef was cooked perfectly, meltingly tender. The tomato-based sauce was rich and thick. The flavour wasn't as full as I expected, but I suspect that the inclusion of smoked paprika and caraway seeds would have made all the difference. I've since purchased both and will make the dish again very soon - the forecast for March doesn't indicate that the weather will improve anytime soon. The cayenne pepper added a nice bite, warming the dish without making it spicey.

The Verdict

We all enjoyed this meal. The kids picked out the obvious whole cherry tomatoes, but otherwise ate up all the rich tomato sauce, oblivious to the presence of peppers. Pure comfort food.

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