This version of goulash, a luscious Hungarian stew seasoned with paprika, is lighter than the traditional version made with beef. It is usually served over hot noodles, but fluffy mashed potatoes also make a sybaritic finish. The red bell peppers not only enhance the flavor, but also add valuable nutrients to the dish.
Works in slow cookers from 3½ to 6 quarts
Earthy and pungent, caraway is an ancient herb that has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes throughout history. It was used for centuries as a digestive aid and is often used to add balance to robust spice blends such as the fiery Tunisian harissa or the slightly sweet garam masala, which is used in Indian cooking. According to spice guru Ian Hemphill, Holland is the world’s largest producer of caraway, and Dutch caraway seed is the world’s best.
There is a hint of caraway flavor in this version. If you prefer a stronger caraway flavor, increase the quantity of caraway seeds to as much as 2 tsp (10 mL).I like to use small whole cremini mushrooms in this stew, but if you can’t find them, white mushrooms or larger cremini mushrooms, quartered or sliced, depending upon their size, work well too.
Canned tomatoes vary in sizes. If your supermarket carries the 19-oz (540 mL) can of diced tomatoes, by all means substitute it in this recipe.
Cooking Methodslow cooking
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, game day
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturegarlicky, meaty, savory, spiced
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) olive oil, divided
- 2 lbs (1 kg) trimmed stewing veal, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp (5 ml) caraway seeds (see Tips)
- ½ tsp (2 ml) cracked black peppercorns
- 1 lb (500 g) mushrooms (see Tips)
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) all-purpose flour
- 1 can (14 oz/398 ml) diced tomatoes, including juice (see Tips)
- 1 cup (250 ml) lower-salt chicken broth
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) sweet Hungarian paprika, dissolved in 2 tbsp (25 ml) water or lower-salt chicken broth
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped dill
- Sour cream, optional
In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil over mediumhigh heat for 30 seconds. Add veal, in batches, and cook, stirring, adding more oil as necessary, until browned, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, caraway seeds and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, with juice, and broth and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Stir well.
Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until veal is tender.
Add paprika solution to slow cooker stoneware and stir well. Add red peppers and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes, until peppers are tender. To serve, ladle into bowls and top each serving with 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the dill and a dollop of sour cream, if using.
This dish can be partially prepared before it is cooked. Heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil and complete Step 2. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 1 day. When you’re ready to cook, either brown the veal as outlined in Step 1 or add it to the stoneware without browning. Stir well and continue with Steps 3 and 4.
2007 Judith Finlayson