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HUNARIAN BEEF STEW COOKS ILLUS.

Hungarian Beef Stew

Serves 6. Published November 1, 2008. From Cook’s Illustrated.

Do not substitute hot, half-sharp, or smoked Spanish paprika for the sweet paprika in the stew (see our recommended brands at right), as they will compromise the flavor of the dish. Since paprika is vital to this recipe, it is best to use a fresh container. We prefer chuck-eye roast, but any boneless roast from the chuck will work. Cook the stew in a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. (Alternatively, to ensure a tight seal, place a sheet of foil over the pot before adding the lid.) The stew can be cooled, covered tightly, and refrigerated for up to 2 days; wait to add the optional sour cream until after reheating. Before reheating, skim the hardened fat from the surface and add enough water to the stew to thin it slightly. Serve the stew over boiled potatoes or egg noodles.
Ingredients
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast , trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (see note)
Salt
1/3 cup sweet paprika (see note)
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers , drained and rinsed (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large onions , diced small (about 6 cups)
4 large carrots , peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick rounds (about 2 cups)
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef broth , warmed
1/4 cup sour cream (optional; see note)
Ground black pepper
Instructions

1.

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle meat evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and let stand 15 minutes. Process paprika, roasted peppers, tomato paste, and 2 teaspoons vinegar in food processor until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
2.

2. Combine oil, onions, and 1 teaspoon salt in large Dutch oven; cover and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften but have not yet begun to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. (If onions begin to brown, reduce heat to medium-low and stir in 1 tablespoon water.)
3.

3. Stir in paprika mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions stick to bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Add beef, carrots, and bay leaf; stir until beef is well coated. Using rubber spatula, scrape down sides of pot. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat is almost tender and surface of liquid is ½ inch below top of meat, 2 to 21/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Remove pot from oven and add enough beef broth so that surface of liquid is ¼ inch from top of meat (beef should not be fully submerged). Return covered pot to oven and continue to cook until fork slips easily in and out of beef, about 30 minutes longer.
4.

4. Skim fat off surface; stir in remaining teaspoon vinegar and sour cream, if using. Remove bay leaf, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, and serve.

America’s Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen is a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside of Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated magazines and is the workday destination for more than three dozen test cooks, editors, and cookware specialists. Our mission is to test recipes until we understand how and why they work and arrive at the best version. We also test kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. You can watch us work by tuning in to America’s Test Kitchen (www.americastestkitchen.com) on public television.

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