Goulash is an all-purpose, quick and easy beef sauce, seasoned with paprika coming from the Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Today we explore its Balkan face. Splendid over rice, pasta or quinoa.
The main difference is the type of meat used. Sitni ćevap is very veal oriented. Softer, ‘pinkier’ cuts are at work there.
Goulash on the other hand is good to go with most types of beef.
Beef chuck. Steak. Stew cuts. Even if you have some tougher pieces, goulash is your go-to sauce. Thing to keep in mind is this: the longer you simmer the meat, the better it will come out.
So simmer away.
I like a sauce that’s light so I don’t add much to goulash except paprika, salt and pepper. I do experiment with the amount of paprika. It’s my favorite spice, hands down.
But some people like to add a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce while simmering goulash, to make it thicker, and to balance out paprika with tomato.
If this is what you’d prefer here is a tip I’ve already mentioned a million times (it’s something my mother tells me every time I use tomato sauce in anything): whenever you add some tomato sauce to the recipe, add a teaspoon of sugar along, to kill its acidity.
Alright. Get cooking and let me know how it goes!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable)
- 1 yellow onion (large, peeled, minced)
- 1 pound chuck tender steak (or other beef chunk, diced coarsely)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons paprika (or more)
- (Optional) 2 sticks celery (minced)
- 2 carrots (large, peeled, diced)
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- (Optional) 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
- (Optional) 1 teaspoon of sugar
- In a deep skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and simmer. Add beef on top of onion but do not stir. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add seasonings. Simmer another 5 minutes.
- Add carrots and celery and stir well. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water. Continue simmering on low for another 30-40 minutes on low. (Add a little water at the time to keep the level even, or if you like a thicker sauce skip adding more water.)
- (If using tomato sauce, add in now with sugar and stir.)
- Add breadcrumbs. Stir well. Simmer another 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.
Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa, or couscous.
You want the meat to brown, not burn, so feel free to lower the temperature in the beginning, and add a few more minutes to simmering. Alternatively you can add a pinch of of water here and there.