Prep 1 hr
Cook 10 hrs
During the cold war I zig-zagged across the iron curtain and found myself one day in Buda- Pest the next day in Prague, the next day in Leipzig. I complied this pan central european beef stew by trying to take the best of each region. Then I Americanized it a bit, but mainly because the Hungarian agent I stole the last bit from threatened me with a fate worse than death should he ever taste his great grandmothers goulash Stateside. I contemplated killing him quietly, but decided to just tweak the recipe. His name was Alton something...anyway...
- 3 lbs chuck (I had one of those butcher"stew packs" where the meat is already semi chopped)
- 64 ounces beef stock
- 2 lbs red potatoes
- 1 lb russet potato
- 1 lb yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup vinegar (I used white, use what you like, except balsamic)
- 2 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- kosher salt
- Lets start with the "rub".
- In a large bowl, mix the Tomato paste, Worcestershire, vinegar, herbs and paprika. Mix well and set aside.
- Cut into big bites, season with kosher salt and sear on all sides.
- Add meat to tomato paste mixture and toss to cover.
- Place beef into foil and seal TIGHTLY (very). You may need to split this into 2 packs depending on your quantity of beef.
- Put into a cold oven set at 200F for around 3 hours. When done, you can TRY to drain the fat, but there really wasn't that much with mine. Place aside and let the meat cool, I usually do this the night before so it goes into the fridge -- unless those Pinko SOB's are on my tail, then I throw it into the freezer for an hour or so.
- While you're waiting for the beef to cool, chop an onion, render some pancetta, and sweat the onions until translucent, add minced garlic towards the end.
- Peel russets and cut into small pieces (these are as much for thickening as for eating).
- Cut the red potatoes like you'd cut up c-4 for motorcycle bombs ~ about 1" cubes, but don't worry -- a little bigger a little smaller will get the job done -- for the stew AND the motorcycles.
- In a big (I mean big) crockpot throw in everything: Cool meat, left over tomato slurry, onions, potatoes, remaining rendered fat, ALL the beef stock, and the SECRET ingredient (I'll tell you here, I didn't put it in the ingredients because this place is crawling with spies, but so help me if you tell anyone-I know a place that makes Siberia look like Cancun). 1 Packet of McCormick Beef Stew starter -- I know I know.
- Set crock pot to high, and cook for damn near 12 hours. Servable @ 7 but better with each hour after.
- This does not make a super thick stew. If you want that you'll have to add corn startch or arrowroot. If you're going to do that, put the stock in the post first and stir it in to that before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Serve to your friends/family. It's a little spicy, but nothing you can't handle. Unless of course you're a communist.
I am going to try this recipe today, mainly because you are so colorful. I'm going to see what else you have submitted in order to hear more of your tales.
This stew was soooo goood!!! We will be making this a lot! :)