Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Goulash Tirolese aka Tyrolean Beef Stew

I know a lot of my friends and family think I am made for menu planning.  But although I look nerdy and to some a control freak there are benefits to being organised. A major benefit is that I have meals I want to try and know how long they are going to take to prepare and cook.  This means that I can not only work out which meals are suitable for weeknights and which meals take a little more time.  It also means that from menu planning I create a shopping list and therefore have all the ingredients needed in one shop to pull off a week of cooking.  Totally win win for me... sadly totally outrageous to others.

Needless to say I love finding new recipes to try and share with our friends and family and you, the readers of my blog.

Anyway - I would like to introduce you to Gennaro Contaldo. Gennaro was born in Amalfi, Italy, and came to public attention as the chef who inspired Jamie Oliver when they worked together at Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street restaurant.  He also co-presents the BBC2 Two Greedy Italians series with Carluccio and has published several cookbooks, including the recently released Slow Cook Italian, from which he shares the following recipe for Goulash Tirolese (Tyrolean beef stew).

“This classic stew from the Trentino-Alto Adige or South Tyrol region of northern Italy is slow cooked with onions, cumin and paprika – its distinct central European flavour is influenced by neighbouring Austria,” he writes in the recipe introduction.

To read this recipe was a pleasure but I must say to cook it and stand in my kitchen just smelling the Goulash (occasionally tasting it because I had too) was an honour.  I am so glad that I tried this recipe.  The flavour matched the aroma that filled the house.  The ease of the recipe was unbelievable especially compared to the flavour.

A very robust goulash style stew with only a few ingredients.  The beef was very tender and the pieces of pancetta that laced the thick sauce were tasty and added a salty yet salty element to the dish.  As we are not a polenta loving household (I am the only one that likes it) we had mashed potatoes to make ensure comfort food status was achieved.

Goulash Tirolese aka Tyrolean Beef Stew
(Recipe sourced from Indaily.com - Slow Cook Italian)

Serves: 4

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
100g pancetta, cubed
About 1 litre (4 cups) hot vegetable stock
1kg stewing beef, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp paprika
2 sprigs thyme
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent sticking, until softened. Remove and set aside.

Add the pancetta to the pan and cook on a medium heat until coloured but not burnt. Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Return the onions to the pan, add about 3 tablespoons of stock and cook for a minute or so until the liquid has evaporated.

Add the beef, increase the heat and brown the meat all over.

Add 100ml (scant ½ cup) of stock, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook very gently for 30 minutes, then add another 100ml of stock and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, cumin, paprika, thyme and pancetta.

Add 400 ml of stock, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for a further 1 hour, gradually adding more stock and stirring from time to time to ensure the meat doesn’t stick.

Remove from the heat and serve with creamy polenta or mashed potato or crunchy bread.

For a slow cooker

Cook the onions, pancetta and beef as above.

Once the beef is browned add 750 ml (3 cups) stock, the garlic, cumin, paprika, thyme and pancetta.
Bring to the boil, stirring, then transfer to a large slow cooker pot, press the meat beneath the liquid, cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)