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This recipe was taught to me by my Bavarian Mutti. I have, since, tried to measure and journal how to make this wonderful stew. This stew is made with beef chuck, a combination of hot and mild paprika with a touch of caraway seeds. Served over spaetzle, buttered noodles or with tradition Semel Knoedel (bread dumplings) this is a family favorite recipe.
4-5 pounds stew cut meat*, cut into bite-sized chunks
flour seasoned with Kosher salt & cracked pepper– about 1 cup flour, 1 Tbsp salt & pepper
2 large onions, sliced thin
olive oil for searing
2 tsp. Hungarian Hot Paprika
1 Tbsp. mild paprika
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
zest of one small lemon
1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 large can tomato sauce (approx 4 cups)
½ cup beef or chicken stock (or water)
kosher salt & pepper to taste
flour for searing meat
NOTE: My recommended cut of meat, if your butcher can provide it, is “chuck eye roast”. It’s a very tender cut of meat that braises beautifully.
1. You will need a large Dutch oven with a lid for best results. Add just enough olive oil to coat the pan and turn the heat high enough to make the oil shimmer, but not smoke.
2. Pat the meat dry and dredge in flour, seasoned with kosher salt & cracked pepper.
3. Add one piece of meat to the hot oil to make sure that it sizzles. Add the remaining meat, without crowding the pan and sear for about 34 minutes per side. You want a golden crust that will give the gravy great flavor.
4. Cook the meat in batches, if necessary and set aside in a bowl– to collect the juice.
5. When all the meat is seared, turn the heat to medium and add a little more olive oil to the pan and cook the onion until tender– 3-4 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook till fragrant– 30 seconds or so.
6. Add the tomato paste and paprika, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
7. Add the tomato sauce, caraway seeds, lemon zest and chicken stock and stir well.
8. Bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes and taste for seasoning. Adjust as necessary. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a little more chicken stock or water until it is the consistency of a gravy.
9. Simmer for 2 hours, or you can use a slow cooker for 4-6 hours.
10. This stew tastes even better if made one day in advance. Serve or buttered egg noodles or spaetzle or Bavarian Bread Dumplings– recipes coming soon to my blog!
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