Italian Beef Goulash over Polenta
INGREDIENTS
  • Cooking Time: 90 min
  • Servings: 6
  • Preparation Time: 20 min
  • 2 pounds stew beef, cubed
  • 1 1/3 pounds onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 cups hot beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2-4 cloves garlic whole peeled
  • The zest of a lemon, grated
  • The juice of a half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Salt & pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and add the onion and garlic.
  2. Cook, stirring, until they have browned.
  3. Remove the onions and add the meat to the pot to brown.
  4. Remix the meat and the onions together and continue cooking until all is thoroughly browned.
  5. Stir in the red wine and the vinegar.
  6. Add the bay leaf, whole cloves of garlic, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer until some of the wine liquid has evaporated.
  8. Add some of the hot broth, about half.
  9. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook, do not cover, stirring every now and then, for an hour and a half.
  10. Continuing to add more broth as needed to keep it from drying out.
  11. While goulash is cooking prepare a soft polenta or use a premade whichever you prefer, keep warm until needed.
  12. When the meat almost done, remove garlic cloves and blend them with the rest of the herbs, the lemon zest and softened butter.
  13. Add the mixture to the pot, stir in the lemon juice as well, and cook for a few minutes.
  14. Salt and pepper to taste.
  15. Spoon polenta into a dish and ladle goulash over the polenta.
  16. Garnish with a good Parmesan cheese...so good!
RECIPE BACKSTORY
My friend Emilia's mother fed this to a bunch of us after a long day of ice skating many years ago. It's one of those wonderful stick to your belly type things, and it's still one of my favorite go to comfort foods.