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Recipe: Beef Goulash with a Spanish Twist

Recipe: Beef Goulash with a Spanish Twist

We’ve just had a lovely lunch with fabulous friends on a day when it was actually warm enough to sit outside in the sun for an hour or two, chat, have a couple of drinks and appreciate the beauty of our surroundings.  After a couple of weeks of very cold weather, this was much appreciated.  Needless to say, when we left that gentle warmth of the sun, and went indoors, the temperature rather plummeted, so we needed fortifying food to keep out the still-present winter indoor chills.

This is a great recipe for a cold winter’s day.  It’s rich and hearty and has a healthy hint of paprika heat.  

Based on a recipe by The Hairy Bikers, this has been adapted to use local ingredients readily available here in Spain.

Beef Goulash with a Spanish Twist

INGREDIENTS

1kg braising steak or stewing beef

2 medium onions

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red pepper

100g Chorizo (picante), chopped into small cubes

4 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped

Beef stock cube

Half a bottle of full-bodied red wine

2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika

1 tablespoon dulce smoked paprika

2 tablespoons tomate frito (or tomato puree) 

2 bayleaves

Salt and pepper to season

METHOD

Heat the oven to 150 C.

Firstly, chop the onions into chunks and gently soften these in some olive oil in a large lidded casserole.  When the onions start to turn translucent, add the finely chopped cloves of garlic and then add the chorizo and gently fry.

In the meantime, chop the beef into small cubes and season generously with salt and pepper.

Remove the onion, garlic and chorizo from the casserole with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Brown the beef in the casserole a small amount at a time, and remove each batch once it has browned.  When all the meat has been browned, return the meat, onions, garlic and chorizo to the casserole and sprinkle on the two lots of paprika.  Finely chop a beef stock cube and add this to the mix.  Pour in the half bottle of red wine; the liquid needs to show up to about half the depth of the ingredients in the casserole.  If you need more liquid, just add a splash of water.  

Peel the tomatoes (place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water, then jab them with a sharp knife to break the skin.  The skin will then start to peel away.  Remove the tomatoes from the bowl with a slotted spoon and remove the skin).  Finely chop the tomatoes and add these to the casserole, along with the tomate frito.

Add the two bay leaves, and give the mix a gently stir.  Bring it to a simmer and then cover with the lid and place in the oven.  Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Seed and chop a red pepper into 1cm chunks, and after the goulash has been in the oven for the one and a half hours, add the red pepper.  I usually check the seasoning at this stage, and adjust if necessary.  This might mean adding a little more paprika if you like the heat, or a dash more beef stock, whatever your preference.  I found that this mix needed no additional tweaking, which is quite something, even for me!

Return the casserole to the oven and cook for another hour until the beef is deliciously tender and the sauce is a deep, rich red.  About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, thicken the sauce with some flour.  This can be done with a beurre manié (a tablespoon of flour mixed with some melted butter and cooked briefly before adding to the casserole) or just a tablespoon of flour mixed with a dash of red wine in a bowl and then stirred into the casserole.  Return to the oven to cook and thicken for 15 minutes.  

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You can prepare this hearty goulash well in advance and then just allow it to rest before heating it up again prior to serving.  Today, we served this with an equally rich gratin dauphinois (thinly sliced potatoes baked in the oven in cream and topped with grated cheese).  Rice would be an equally good accompaniment.  A dollop of Greek Yoghurt or sour cream is a pleasant addition, particularly if your goulash is on the piquant side.

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