Braised Beef Goulash with Smoked Pimenton
I've always loved goulash and would definitely list it among my top casserole recipes, but now, since the advent of the spicy, deep-flavoured smoked pimentón from southern Spain, goulash has an even greater appeal.
I love this served with whole-grain brown rice cooked with onion, and some buttered green cabbage or spicy red cabbage. Note: If you prefer a milder goulash, use two tablespoons of sweet, mild, smoked pimentón. If you have trouble tracking down smoked pimentón, try www.brindisa.com
This recipe is from Delia's Complete How to Cook. Serves 6
Begin by heating the oil in the casserole over a highish heat until it is sizzling hot.
Then brown the cubes of beef on all sides, cooking a few at a time. They need to be a good, deep nutty brown colour. As they brown, transfer them to a plate, using a draining spoon. Now, with the heat turned down to medium, stir in the onions and cook them for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown and caramelise at the edges. Then stir in the garlic and return the meat to the casserole.
Next, sprinkle in the flour and pimentón and give everything a stir to soak up the juices. Now, add the bay leaves and the contents of both tins of tomatoes, and season well with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Let it all come slowly up to simmering point. Then cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and transfer it to the middle shelf of the oven to cook very slowly for exactly 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the peppers by halving them, removing the seeds and pith and cutting the flesh into strips roughly measuring 1 x 2 inches (2 x 5 cm). Then, when the 2 hours are up, stir the chopped peppers into the goulash, replace the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes. Just before serving, take the casserole out of the oven, let it stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the soured cream to give a lovely marbled, creamy effect.
Finally, sprinkle over a little more pimentón, and serve straight from the casserole.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275ºF (140ºC).