(old world light stew for 4-6 old world instrument players)
2lb cubed boneless beef chuck (buy at least 2.5 lb of chuck, so
that 2lb remains after trimming all fat and connective tissue), cut for
a cube size of about 3/8"
3 cups chopped yellow onions (takes about 4 medium sized onions, chopped to pieces similar to beef cubes)
1 tablespoon of pressed/minced/ground fresh garlic (about 4 cloves); use only fresh garlic, not dried or prepared
4-5 cups peeled & cubed potatoes (use small -medium Red potatoes or similar, avoid large 'baking' potatoes); volume of cubes should be similar to combined volume of beef cubes and chopped onions
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth (or, one 14-16oz can of broth, such as College Inn brand); do not use beef bouillon or powdered broth
1 can kidney beans (optional)
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
4 tablespoons margarine (butter or other frying fats are also good)
3 tablespoons ground paprika
2 teaspoons ground parsley (or, equivalant amount of fresh parsley, adjust amount to taste)
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1.5 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
4 cups of water is also required
Prepare bulk ingredients:
Trim fat and non-meat tissue from beef chuck (Gulasch meat should be tender, so encountering gristle when eating it can be avoided by careful trimming now). Slice into 3/8" wide strips, then cut strips into 3/8" cubes. Peel outer layer from onions, cut in half along 'equator' of onion, lay halves flat and chop one way, then perpendicular to make onion pieces similar in size to beef cubes. Since onion sizes vary considerably, measure to about 3 cups. Peel potatoes and cut into 3/8" cubes; like the onions, compensate for size by measuring after chopping.
Place a large kettle over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons margarine, and stir in half of the beef cubes. Allow beef to brown thoroughly, stirring as required. Remove beef to a bowl using a slotted spoon so that melted margarine stays in kettle. Add another tablespoon of margarine and other half of beef cubes, and brown the same as before, removing to bowl when done.
Add another tablespoon of margarine to kettle and stir in garlic. Add chopped onions, stirring to coat thoroughly. With heat still on high, stir briefly every 30 seconds for about 10-12 minutes, or until onion pieces become translucent.
Reduce heat to medium, and put beef cubes back into kettle and mix with onion bits. Mix spices (paprika, thyme, marjoram) separately, then add to kettle and mix until beef and onion pieces are evenly coated. Continue to stir every 30 seconds for two more minutes.
Add 4 cups cold (tap) water and beef broth, and stir thoroughly, and bring mixture to a boil (this to compensate for cold water and broth). Reduce heat to low, and cover kettle. Observe kettle for several minutes and adjust heat as required to produce a nice simmer (not a boil); bubbles should constantly form on surface, but it should be a gentle action with minimum surface turbulance. Once heat is correctly adjusted, set a 45 minute timer and go do something else.
When timer is done, add remaining solids (potatoes and optional beans), mix in, cover kettle and set timer for another 45 minutes. Go back to your other project.
When the second timer is done, mix in the salt, pepper, tomato paste (at least half the can, more to taste) and optional wine (also ground parsley if you are using that), cover again for two minutes. Remove from heat and add fresh parsley (unless ground parsley is already in there).
Copyright Paul Schmidt 2000
added July 2000