One of the fun things that Vicky and I have to work with on our recipe swaps is the fact that, because I am in California and she is in Australia, our seasons are reversed. She is in the middle of summer, (reflected by recipes like her Aussie Burger), whilst I am in winter mode which means my slow cooker is working overtime to give us warming comfort food.
I adapted this recipe from a cookbook called “The Art of the Slow Cooker” by Andrew Schloss, available from many cooking outlets here in the States. It is a great mixture of sweet (from the onions) and smoky (from the spices), and even overcame my wife’s dislike of goulash that was inherited from her mother’s use of a pressure cooker in ways that a pressure cooker was not designed to be used.
Ingredients – serves 6 to 8:
- 6 large yellow onions (Spanish if you can find them), halved and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 3 tbsp smoked paprika (regular sweet Hungarian paprika will work if you can’t find smoked)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1kg/just over 2 lbs trimmed beef, cut into bite-sized chunks (I used round steak rather than stew meat to avoid any stringy results)
- 1 cup beef stock (broth)
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh flat (Italian) parsley, chopped
Note – do not use sweet onions for this recipe. They are sweet as they are lower in sugar than regular yellow onions and they will not caramelize well enough for this recipe.
- Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan forced/375F.
- Toss the onions in 1 tablespoon of oil and place in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Roast until onions are lightly browned, (about 45 minutes), tossing once halfway through the roasting time.
- While the onions are roasting, mix the flour, caraway seeds, 1 tbsp of the paprika and the salt in a medium bowl. Add the beef and toss to cover evenly. Pat off the excess and save the left-over flour mixture for use later.
- Remove the onions from the oven and pour 1/2 cup of the beef stock (broth) over them. Stir, scraping up any brown bits, and pour into a 5 litre (5 quart) slow cooker.
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat and, in 2 batches, brown the beef on all sides, adding the remaining oil for the second batch. Transfer the browned beef into the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining flour mix to the pan and cook, stirring constantly until lightly browned (it will take a couple of minutes). Stir in the remaining beef stock, the brown sugar, ketchup, cider vinegar and 1 tbsp of the paprika. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Pour into the slow cooker, over the beef and onions. (Dont worry at the lack of liquid, the onions will melt into a thick, caramelized sauce.)
- Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low for 6 to 8 hours. I prefer low and slow and cooked mine for 7 hours. You will know when it is ready as the onions are practically liquefied and the beef is fork tender.
- Just before serving add the last tablespoon of paprika and the parsley, stir and let cook for about 5 minutes.
- If you want to be authentic, serve over pasta (egg noodles) cooked according to the package directions.