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This is the recipe handed down from my father's Aunt Irma (who was Hungarian) to my mother. It's quite minimalist and amazingly delicious.

  • 2 lbs beef chuck cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbs flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 oz butter

Mix the flour, salt and pepper, then coat the beef. Brown the beef in the butter (may need to be done in 2 batches) and remove to a bowl.

  • 2 large onions, chopped

Saute the onions in the remaining fat until they are browning.

  • 2 tbs sweet Hungarian paprika

Add the paprika and stir until the onions are coated. Don't fry the paprika: it can become bitter.

  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3 oz tomato paste (optional)

Add the water, return the beef to the pot, add tomato paste if you want, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. Turn off heat and mix in:

  • 2 to 4 oz sour cream

Serve on egg noodles, accompanied by Cucumber Salad.

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