Joan Ferencz' Beef Goulash


From Recipes Remembered by June Hersh

Joan's cooking style was not very Hungarian as she embraced an American lifestyle, always cooking wholesome food, nothing from a can. However, one dish she remembers from her childhood was a very pure and authentic Hungarian goulash made simply with seasoned beef in slow simmered broth and thinly sliced potatoes that soften as they cook away in the robust sauce. When slow cooking, don't be tempted to use a higher quality cut of meat, the cheaper cuts work better as their extra fat helps the meat melt into assertive flavorful bites.


2 pounds beef chuck or shank, cut into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt & pepper
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
All-purpose flour, for dredging, at Passover use potato starch
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 cups beef broth
4 russet potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut into ½-inch thick slices
1 teaspoon hot paprika, optional


Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and season with salt, pepper and sweet paprika. Dredge the beef in the flour (potato starch), shaking off the excess.  Heat the oil in a medium size Dutch oven or deep covered sauté pan and brown the beef, (in batches if necessary), over medium heat, for several minutes. When the meat begins to brown, add the sliced onions, continue to cook and stir, over medium heat, until the beef and onions are nicely brown, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in the broth, cover and cook over low heat, for one hour.  After one hour, add the sliced potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. For an extra kick, add hot paprika. Cover and continue to cook until the potatoes and beef are tender, about 30 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add additional broth or water.


Yields: 4 servings

Start to Finish: Under 2 hours

When a recipe calls for dredging meat, it accomplishes two things. First it coats and dries the meat so it can brown better and develop a crust.  Second, it serves as a thickening agent for the sauce. Be sure to shake the excess off before placing the meat in the pot.  And never crowd the pan when browning; doing so steams the meat.

Recipes: Meat, Beef, Hungarian Goulash, Passover Friendly, Kosher

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