As the cold weather approaches, our appetites tend toward warm, wintery flavors. A hearty stew for a weeknight or Shabbat dinner, making use of the sweetest of winter root vegetables, can really hit the spot. This stew or goulash is a nourishing and easy “fix-it-and-forget-it” type of recipe, which can be made on your stovetop, in your pressure cooker or, just as easily, in a slow cooker. The combined ingredients in your crockpot, set on low heat, make coming home a joyful, aromatic experience. This recipe takes about 15 minutes of slicing and dicing, and the rest is a breeze as well.
- 2 pounds boneless flanken, brisket, chuck or any other nicely marbled meat, cut in bite-sized pieces
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 large white onions, chopped
- 5 ribs celery, diced
- 4 medium-sized starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 pound white button or Baby Bella mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh or granulated
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (or 4 tsp fresh)
- Fresh or dried parsley (for garnish)
- 3-5 cups vegetable, beef or chicken stock
For pressure cookers, combine ingredients and cook as directed until meat is tender. For slow cookers, combine ingredients and cook over low heat for 4–8 hours or high heat for 3 hours.
For stovetop: Sweat mirepoix (carrots, celery, onions) in olive oil in a deep pot over low heat, approximately 10 minutes. In a large zipper-style bag, incorporate the flour and dried spices, omitting the rosemary. Add the bite-size beef pieces. Shake the bag, remove the beef, which is now lightly floured and spiced, and then place in the pot with the vegetables. This combination will add just the right amount of flour to thicken the stew. Add cubed potatoes, parsnips, rosemary, mushrooms and enough vegetable stock to cover all ingredients. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 10–20 minutes, then season to taste and reduce to a very low flame to simmer for an additional hour or until the meat is tender.
This recipe serves four, easily. Add 1/3 to 1/2 lb. of uncooked meat for each additional adult.
By Elizabeth Kratz