Hungarian Goulash

Warm and satisfying, this stew gets its authentic flavor from Hungarian sweet paprika, which has more depth of flavor than American paprika. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and crusty bread, if you like.

PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hours 0 minutes

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 leeks, white and light green portions, rinsed well and finely chopped
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
3 cups beef or vegetable stock
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, with juices
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks, caraway seeds and onion Sauté until the leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes more.

Add the beef and paprika and sauté until the beef is evenly browned on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes.

Increase the heat to high, add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer until the meat is fork-tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the garlic, potato, parsnip, carrots, salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes more. Stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream. Serve immediately.