Beef goulash / saft
Beef stew is synonymous with a rustic, rich meat dish that invigorates with its aroma and taste. I found a lot of recipes on this topic, but this recipe - although more demanding, is interwoven with the advice of my uncle the hunter, who knows how much attention, effort and love it takes to save perfection. Although I have set a moderately demanding level of dish preparation, I find that some extra steps and long, light and slow cooking are the key to achieving the full flavor of the meat and its sauce. Unlike a lot of the recipes I’ve read, there are no shortcuts here, no additional ingredients like tomatoes - it’s simply an emphasis entirely on a quality piece of meat and careful processing for a truly uncompromising taste. As a product, you are left with a top-quality dish for meat lovers, which compensates for its longevity in cooking by literally melting in your mouth.
- Beef ham (I buy mine in a butcher shop so I can inspect the appearance, quality and age of the meat - it can be bought already packaged; although then I recommend in a piece; to cut as you see fit, but it also passes into cubes) cut into pieces suitable for bite, add salt and pepper and leave to reach room temperature (if stored in the refrigerator) so that it does not become "rubbery" during baking. Roll the meat cubes in flour.
- In a deep pot of larger surface in which we will make a stew, put oil to cover the bottom and heat on a medium low to medium flame. When the oil has reached the temperature - fry the meat cubes on all sides. Here we do not cook or roast the meat "to the end", we will achieve this by long-term cooking, but we "seal" it on all sides to get a crust and thus retain its juices and softness completely. * this is a step that differs from most recipes, but as far as meat is concerned, believe me, it is very different from the one roasted in onion. and cover it.
- Put the onion cut into small pieces in the meat fat, add more oil if necessary and sauté it over a low heat in order to caramelize it as well as possible. In this step, set aside a crumb more than the usual 5-10 minutes of simmering and while stirring, wait for the onion to caramelize in the fat and meat juices. You will extract natural sugars from onions and give this dish the necessary depth. Add salt and pepper to the onion.
- Add spices to the onion: ground sweet pepper, ground smoked pepper, hot - ground hot, or chilli peppers as desired and depending on your taste, and fry briefly with onions to activate the spices and later blend better with the dish.
- Put the meat back in the onion, together with the coca juices, it will let go while it rests on the side. Add two dried bay leaves and stir and add little by little warm beef stock (or a liter of water with 2 melted beef cubes for soup).
- With occasional stirring, so as not to harden at the bottom, cook the stew slowly over low heat for the next 4 hours. I am not the one who will recommend a faster preparation because simple meat and the density of the sauce depend on a long and easy preparation.
- Towards the end, try the meat, if it crumbles to the touch - your stew is ready. The sauce is made exclusively of meat and character, it should be brown, dark in color. Towards the end, I added ready-made gnocchi to be cooked in the stew itself.