Gulyas is a Hungarian dish very similar to beef stew; the key ingredient in Gulyas is the sweet paprika. For this recipe I combined ingredients from both Gulyas and beef stew and came up with an extremely flavorful and hearty stew. When preparing the beef stew I decided to combine two cooking methods; frying (on the stove) and stewing (crock pot). The reason why I use the stove is to sear the beef. The browning of the beef creates more complex flavors through caramelization and the Maillard Reaction. If the beef were to be added to the crock pot without browning, it will clump together and add lots of grease to the stew. This recipe is mostly prepared on the stove; only transferred to the crock pot when ready to simmer. If you do not have time to prepare the stew on the stove, my suggestion is to sear the beef and then add the ingredients to the crock pot in the following order: potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, seared beef, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, marjoram, flour, water or chicken stock (stir all the ingredients before covering it). Last time I prepared the stew, using both the stove and the crock pot, I cooked it for 4 hours and 30 minutes at the highest setting; the results were deliciously soft, melt in your mouth meat.
If this is your first time using a crock pot I suggest you use it at least once, this way you get familiarized with how it cooks; how hot it gets and how long the food cooks for. All crock pots are different! One tip, when using a crock pot, never over fill it! The crock pot should always be at least half full and filled to no more than 3 inches from the top. Suggested side dishes are white rice, mash potatoes, bread or grits. Enjoy!
- 2 lbs beef stew cut in cubes
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 potato chopped
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of marjoram
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- Hot water or chicken broth (enough to cover the meat)
- Chopped the onions and the garlic.
- In a large pot saute the chopped onions and garlic with the olive oil and butter at medium heat.
- Once the onions are translucent raise the heat to medium high and add the beef
- Season meat with the cumin, paprika, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Stir the contents of the pot.
- When the meat is seared (mostly cooked) add the flour and mix. Lower the heat to medium.
- Peel the carrot and potato and chop into chunks.
- Add vegetables to the pot and cook with the meat for approximately 10 minutes. Stir the contents in the pot.
- Boil water or chicken stock and add to the pot, enough to cover the meat.
- Transfer the beef stew to the crock pot.
- Cover crock pot with lid.
- Cook between 4 to 5 hours at the highest setting.
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