Slavic peasants created this stew using three basic ingredients: equal parts beef and onions, and a healthy dose of paprika. Whether you use sweet or spicy Hungarian paprika, it should be fresh, with a pungent aroma.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 pounds beef chuck, well trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 pounds yellow onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup Hungarian paprika
- 3 cups Homemade Beef Stock
- Sour cream, for garnish
- 2 pounds broad egg noodles, cooked
- Chopped chives, for garnish
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Season meat with salt and pepper to taste. Cook meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot, and adding 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil as needed. Cook each batch of meat until well browned on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes, and transfer to a plate while the next batch browns.
Reduce heat to low, add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 15 to 20 minutes. Return meat to pot, and add paprika and stock. Stir well to combine. Cook, covered, over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Adjust seasonings. Serve over egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives.