Beef goulash

Probably not the most authentic goulash you’ll eat but it was pretty tasty and warming on a cold Saturday night!

I used shin of beef for this. I like shin. It is a hard-working cut of meat, from the leg, as the name suggests, and it looks quite unprepossessing when raw. It is also a cheap cut, which means that it needs proper long cooking to get the best from it, but that also means that it has a lot of flavour.

When you look at the meat, you would be forgiven for thinking that you need to trim off all the bits of membrane, connecting tissue and the bits that look like they will just be tough and chewy but, never fear, you don’t. It all goes in the pot and via the magic of long, slow cooking it is transformed into an unctuous and tasty mouthful.

So, the goulash.

I fried three chopped onions with two teaspoons of caraway seeds in some leftover chicken fat and olive oil from a roast on a lowish flame until the onions were soft and added in the cubed shin meat, turning it until it was coloured. Then I added a crumbled dried red chilli, a teaspoon of dried thyme and two tablespoons of ground paprika, stirring so that the meat was covered. Then I added in a large carton of tomato passata (which I don’t think is authentic) and some salt and pepper and simmered this, covered for about an hour and a half.

At this point I added in three chopped red and green peppers and some water and simmered this stew for another hour. By this time the meat was pretty much done and the sauce nicely reduced. I had a few leftover Polish smoked sausages so these were sliced and added to the pot with a tub of soured cream. I cooked some fresh pappardelle pasta and that was it.

As I say, probably not authentically Hungarian, but good stuff nevertheless.

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