Austrian Beef Stew with Paprika and Caraway (Goulash)
Start to finish: 4 hours (30 minutes active) | Servings: 4 to 6
This simple stew derives much of its bold flavor and rich color from sweet and hot paprika, so make sure the paprika you use is fresh and fragrant. For the deepest, earthiest flavor, we recommend seeking out true Hungarian paprika; we use a combination of sweet and hot to achieve just the right degree of spice. Serve with egg noodles, spätzle or mashed potatoes.
Don’t be shy about trimming the chuck roast; removing as much fat as possible before cooking prevents the stew from being extra-greasy. In our experience, the roast usually loses about 1 pound with trimming. Also, don’t cut the beef into pieces smaller than 11⁄2 inches or the meat will overcook.
- 5 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 11⁄2-inch pieces, patted dry
- 6 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika, divided
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) salted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, lightly crushed
- 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried marjoram (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh dill, plus dill sprigs to serve
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Sour cream, to serve
Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Season the beef with 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the broth and tomato paste; set aside.
In a large Dutch oven over medium, melt the butter. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the caraway and flour, then cook, stirring frequently, until the flour begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 5 tablespoons sweet paprika and the hot paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the broth mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Stir in the beef, bay and marjoram (if using), then bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover, place in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
Remove the pot from the oven. Uncover and stir, then return to the oven uncovered and continue to cook until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, another 1 to 11⁄2 hours. Remove from the oven, stir and let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 15 minutes. Stir in the dill and vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with dill sprigs. Serve with sour cream.
Austrian Plum Cake (Zwetschgenkuchen)
Start to finish: 11⁄2 hours (10 minutes active) | Servings: 8
This simple cake showcases tangy-sweet summertime plums. Both red and black varieties work beautifully. Just make sure to choose ripe, medium plums that still have a little firmness; soft, ultra-juicy fruits will make the center of the cake wet and soggy. Italian prune plums are great, too; use the same weight. But since they are small, cut them into halves instead of quarters. Ripe but firm pluots, a plum-apricot hybrid, are another excellent alternative. The flavor and texture of this cake are best the day of baking, but leftovers can be stored overnight in an airtight container at room temperature.
Don’t forget to allow time for the butter to soften. Cold, firm butter won’t blend well into the dry ingredients. And don’t underbake this cake; the plums let off a lot of juice that slows down the baking, especially at the center. When testing for doneness, make sure there are no moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick.
- 130 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 107 grams (1⁄2 cup) white sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, room temperature
- 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄4 pounds ripe but firm medium plums, quartered and pitted
- Powdered sugar, to serve
Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, then dust evenly with flour; tap out the excess.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, 107 grams (1⁄2 cup) of the sugar, the baking powder and salt on low until combined, about 5 seconds. With the mixer running, add the butter 1 piece at a time and continue mixing just until the mixture resembles moist sand, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Increase to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Arrange the plum quarters on top of the batter in 2 concentric circles, placing the pieces on their cut sides. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted at the center comes out clean, 1 to 11⁄4 hours. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove the pan sides. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar.
Austrian Potato Salad
Start to finish: 30 minutes | Servings: 4
Cooking the potatoes in a mixture of chicken broth and water added flavor. A quick simmer in the broth also mellowed the onion’s bite. Instead of using mayonnaise to dress the salad, we created a tangy emulsion with mustard, oil and vinegar. The potatoes’ starchy cooking water also helped thicken the dressing. If your potatoes are quite large, quarter them instead of halving before slicing.
Don’t overcook—or undercook—the potatoes. The cooked potatoes should be firm but not grainy, creamy in the center and just starting to fall apart at the edges. This texture is important, as some of the potatoes will break down into the salad. But if they’re too soft, they will turn into mashed potatoes.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, halved and sliced 1⁄4-inch thick
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped cornichons, plus 1 tablespoon brine
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
- Ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup diced red onion (about 1⁄2 medium)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1⁄4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1⁄2 cup diced celery (about 2 medium stalks)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill
In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes, broth and 2 teaspoons salt. Add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with the cornichon brine, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper.
In the empty pan, combine the reserved cooking liquid with the onion and caraway seeds and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and stir well. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and thickened, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the oil, mustard, remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper until emulsified. Add the dressing, celery, eggs, if using, cornichons and dill to the potatoes and fold until evenly coated. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
PHOTO CREDIT: CONNIE MILLER OF CB CREATIVES