When I graduated from high school, almost 25 (gasp!) years ago, I moved to San Francisco, where I started college and worked as a nanny. During that time, I lived in the Marina District, right near the wharf. There was a Hungarian restaurant a few blocks from our house.
This Hungarian restaurant was out of this world. It was run by an older couple and their daughter, recent immigrants. Sadly, it didn’t stay open very long. I had never had authentic Hungarian food prior to that, and I don’t think I’ve had it since. But this was some of the best food I’ve ever tasted.
Hungarian goulash is somewhere between a soup and a stew. If you like, you can serve it over pasta like we are doing, or you can serve it with some boiled potatoes. Or serve all by itself.
Butter, lard, or expeller-pressed, refined coconut oil (2 TBS) — where to buy expeller-pressed coconut oil
Onions, yellow or white, medium (2)
Garlic cloves (6)
Paprika, sweet (1/4 cup) —
Tomato paste, organic (1/4 cup) where to buy tomato paste
Caraway seeds (1 tsp) where to buy caraway seeds
Sea salt — where to buy sea salt
Beef or chicken stock, preferably homemade (2 cups) where to buy beef or chicken stock
Beef roast, chuck-eye, boneless, grass-fed (5 lbs) where to grass-fed beef roast
Soy or tamari sauce, where to buy soy saucenaturally fermented, or homemade Thai fish sauce (1/3 cup)
Cornstarch or arrowroot powder, organic (1/4 cup) where to buy cornstarch
Bay leaves, dried (2) where to buy bay leaves
Kosher or sea salt
Filtered water — where to buy water purification systems
Brown rice pasta (1 bag) where to buy brown rice
Sour cream, grass-fed, organic (1/2 cup +) — where to buy starters
Black pepper, freshly ground where to buy black pepper
Sauerkraut, homemade or a lacto-fermented brand — where to buy starters, where to buy lacto-fermented sauerkraut
EquipmentCrock pot or slow Cooker
1. In a large skillet, heat the butter or coconut oil over medium heat.
2. Peel and finely dice the onions and garlic cloves. Add to the skillet along with the paprika, tomato paste, caraway seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
3. Cook until the onions are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Cut the roast into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Set aside.
5. Stir in the beef or chicken broth, scraping up any brown bits.
6. Transfer the onion mixture to the crock pot.
7. Add the meat to the crock pot along with the soy sauce, cornstarch, and bay leaves and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender, 2-5 hours.
8. Add filtered water and kosher salt or sea salt to a large stock pot.
9. Bring the water to a rolling boil and add the pasta. Stirring occasionally, cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Strain and set aside.
11. Remove the bay leaves from the crock pot. Stir one cup of the stewing liquid into the sour cream to temper, then stir the sour cream mixture into the stew.
12. Season the stew to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
13. Serve the stew over the pasta with extra sour cream and sauerkraut on top.
Photo Credit: MizD!, on Flickr