The Meal Planner

Our International Dinner Club decided we should do the warm, comforting and satisfying flavors of Germany this month. What could be more comforting and satisfying than a homey beef stew? This stew intrigued me with it's use of sweet Hungarian paprika and marjoram; two spices I had never used before (nor had I tasted). Served over egg noodles (or spaetzle if you want to be authentic about it), this stew is perfect for an Autumn evening in.


*Recipe from HeatherFeather @ Recipezaar
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Serves 4


1 onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 lb bacon, finely chopped
2 lbs beef shoulder, cut into bite-sized chunks as for stew (trim any visable fat)
2 tbsp oil
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
1 tsp lemon juice
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tsp dried marjoram
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water

In a large stew pot, heat the oil over high heat. Toss in the meat in batches so that the outsides can get nice and brown. Season with salt and pepper. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and continue until all meat is browned.

In the same pot, turn heat down to medium-high and add the bacon, garlic and onion. Saute until the bacon is cooked and the onion is translucent. Return the meat to the pan and sprinkle with paprika. Add the tomato paste and stir until all the meat is covered. Slowly add a bit of beef broth, stirring to incorporate all the flavors. Add a little more broth and stir to incorporate again. Add the rest of the broth, as well as the lemon juice and marjoram.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 80 minutes. In the last 20 minutes add the peppers. I thickened my stew at the end by mixing together 1 tbsp of cornstarch and a bit of cold water. I added it to the stew and let it simmer and it thickened nicely, although wasn't super thick. You can add more cornstarch if you like or keep it as a broth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve over cooked egg noodles or spaetzle.

Click here for printable version of German Beef Goulash
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THE RESULTS?

I loved the addition of bacon, although it does make the stew slightly greasy. The flavors were amazing though, and really satisfying. I surprised one of my International Dinner Club members, Dan, when he commented on the stew asking me how I was able to get the meat so tender. "I dunno" I replied. "Just simmered it for an hour and a half like the recipe told me to" "AN HOUR AND A HALF?!" He exclaimed. "That's it?!" The meat is very, very tender and Dan later told me that I changed his mind about goulash. He had bad memories of his mom making goulash when he was growing up, but he loved mine. He ate two bowls of it and then asked for the recipe.

I've tagged this recipe "Slow Cooker" since it could easily be adapted. Just brown the meat and then toss everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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