Helon's Hungarian Goulash

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Helon's Hungarian Goulash

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Over the pandemic, I was with my family at our ranch in Alabama. As it started to get cold, I decided to make the only dish I really love to cook, a Hungarian goulash. It's a stew with meat, noodles, and sauce. It's very hearty and filling on cold days especially sitting by a fire in the middle of nowhere. Taste comparisons I can think of are like a beef stroganoff but with more spice since paprika features so heavily in the dish. It's easy, and the majority of the time involved is hands-off as it cooks so plenty of time to hang out with family or do whatever without having to worry. I think that cooking was a great comfort to many as we were stuck inside with the constant news of the pandemic's effect on us and low morale as the months wore on. For me, making goulash always makes a bad day better since it's a dish I love and there's just something really calming about the smell of cooking food and a warm kitchen. I know there were lots of recipes people shared online as a way to cope with being away from family and friends.

Here's the recipe I use:
⅓ cup vegetable oil
3 onions, sliced
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 ½ cups water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Step 1
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions in oil until soft, stirring frequently. Remove onions and set aside.

Step 2
In a medium bowl, combine paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Coat beef cubes in spice mixture, and cook in onion pot until brown on all sides. Return the onions to the pot, and pour in tomato paste, water, garlic, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender.


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This item was submitted on January 12, 2021 by Helon Dobbins using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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