Goulash is basically a stew from Hungarian origine. It contains a lot of powdered paprika, thé Hungarian speciality.
Get some cheap cuts of beef and cut into small chunks; 3/4 of an inch cubes are fine. Don't make this with less than 2 lbs (1kilo) meat, 3 lbs (1,5 kilo) is a minimum for good result. Good news; goulash can be frozen.. Tastes also better the day after, like most stews!
Chop some onions and a lot of garlic.
Get a cooking pot and a frying pan, this works easier. Start by gently sweating the onions and garlic in the cooking pot, on the lowest fire. Stir from time to time. Don't let them color! Also throw in a chopped deseeded red chilli. Do not use those tiny very hot chillies at this stage. Chilli becomes hotter and hotter during the cooking time. If your chillies are too hot, throw them in later in the cooking process.
Now, the trick to get a dark sauce, is to brown the meatcubes nicely. So, take your time to do this. Put your frying pan on high fire with some sunflower oil and throw a small batch of meatcubes in, one at a time, not all together. The pan cannot be filled!!! Let's say maximum 3/4 full, less is better. Do not touch or stir the meat at all. Just let it color, then turn the cubes and proceed like this until all the cubes are nicely browned, this will color the sauce dark.
Put them in the cooking pot where your onions are. Immediately salt and pepper the meatcubes and sprinkle (dust) a little flour over them. Add another batch of meatcubes to your pan and fry the same way (you may have to add some oil). Also add to the cooking pot and sprinkle with flour. Keep frying your meat until all cubes are browned. Don't worry when the pan gets all darkbrown! Just continue and add some oil when necessary.
Get the fire under the cooking pot just a little higher and mix the meat/onion mixture. Let fry for a minute so the flour can cover all the meat. Chop some ripe tomatoes (roma-style plum tomatoes) and put in the cooking pot.
Now, don't forget the frying pan, which bottom now is all covered with brown meatresidu. We absolutely need that, it's packed with meatflavor! Pour some red wine in the pan while still hot and stir until all brown residu is in the wine. Add that liquid to the cooking pot. Now you need to fill the cooking pot until the liquid barely covers the meat. Use a 50/50 ratio wine/water or add a little stock too. Add a few tablespoons of sweet paprika powder. Absolutely do not use smoked powder, it will overpower everything! Add also a small tbsp of tomato paste. Add herbs like oregano, thyme, bay leaf...
Turn the heat down and let simmer slowly for at least 90 minutes or until the meat is tender. Taste for salt and pepper. Done! I like to serve that with some humble boiled rice.
Edited by ChrisBelgium - 3/2/11 at 6:56am