As a woman with Hungarian heritage, I’m surprised I didn’t try this recipe sooner. My mother used to make her own version of this traditional recipe with elbow macaroni, ground beef, bacon and onions. It was more a casserole than a stew, but it was absolutely delicious. Even though the Hungarian will argue that Goulash is neither a stew or a soup, the thick consistency and flavor is very replicative of beef stew, a favorite in my home and the homes of many.
However, don’t confuse the two when you are out to eat at a Hungarian restaurant or traveling abroad in Budapest. Goulash has it’s own spices and ingredients that make it different than beef stew. Even though I love my mothers casserole Goulash, I wanted to try this version before I decided which one I liked more. Although Elliot could have sworn it was beef stew, a more discerning pallet like myself could tell the difference. (I wouldn’t have know had I not made it, I’ll admit). The jury is still out on which style I like more (I’m a sucker for stews but love a crispy casserole). I guess this just means we’ll do another taste test when the weather dips!
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, (such as chuck), trimmed and cubed
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 1 1/2-2 tablespoons sweet or hot paprika, (or a mixture of the two), preferably Hungarian (see Ingredient Note)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley