Slow-Cooked Hungarian Goulash
Known as gulyás in Hungary, this stew seasoned with paprika, caraway seeds, and a hint of lemon is a tasty tradition. Served with buttered egg noodles and topped with sour cream, it's a great reward to have waiting for you in your Crock Pot at the end of a long day.
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds pork, beef or veal stew meat
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions (about 4 medium onions)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 ounce Fond de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 1 3/4 cups hot water
1/3 cup cold water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound egg noodles, cooked and buttered
1/2 cup sour cream
Combine the lemon zest, Herbes de Provence, caraway seeds, and bay leaves on a 6-inch cheesecloth square, fold it, and tie it with kitchen twine to make a "sachet." (Reserve the lemon juice.)
Coat the meat with about 2 tablespoons of the flour; pat off the excess. Warm the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil and the pan are very hot, add the meat and cook to brown all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker.
Discard all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the skillet, and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the paprika and cook for a minute more.
Add the wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from the pan. Simmer 1 to 2 minutes, until the liquid has almost completely evaporated. Add the stock and bring the mixture back to a simmer.
Pour the contents of the skillet over the meat in the slow cooker and add the sachet. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Near the end of cooking time, remove the lid, skim the fat from surface of the stew, and discard it. Remove and discard the sachet.
Whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour into the water until smooth and stir the mixture into the goulash. Simmer the stew on high heat, stirring, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and finish with a little lemon juice. Serve the goulash ladled over buttered egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream.
Wine Pairing: Zinfandel or Merlot.