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Beef Goulash with Cumin and Paprika

Don’t be fooled by the ingredient list—although it’s short, the resulting stew is deeply flavored and very satisfying, thanks to lots of richly browned onions and beef and a simple-yet-effective trio of spices: sweet paprika, hot paprika and cumin.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 1 cup tomato puree

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Lightly season the beef with salt and pepper and add it to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the stock, tomato puree, the sweet and hot paprikas and the cumin. Cover partially and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 hours. Season the goulash with salt and pepper. Ladle the goulash into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

Make Ahead

The goulash can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Le Baladin’s creamy, hop-inflected Super Bitter pairs ideally with this cumin-accented goulash; another excellent choice would be an English-style pale ale, such as Old Speckled Hen.

Published April 2013

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