Sunday, November 16, 2014

Never Eat Alone: Beef Goulash

I'm always hesitant to post recipes for which most people would say "What college student is going to make that?" But, part of this blog's intention is not only to provide my college son with the recipes he's craving from home, but also, to highlight the benefits of cooking other than the food itself, i.e. community, conversation, sharing a meal as well as saving money, learning independence, and improving the shear satisfaction of eating good food. But really good food sometimes requires effort, and when it does...don't hoard it, savor it with friends!



I finished Keith Ferrazzi's book Never Eat Alone several months ago which focuses on building better networking skills, more meaningful relationships, and deeper connections to the people you interact with at any given time...not only to benefit you, but primarily for you to give and provide value to their lives as well. There is a lot to the title alone that is worth pondering, and I would argue that taking the time to make a one-pot, comfort food dish in the middle of November is the perfect excuse to invite your roommates to the table, and do just that.

My son loves great food, family gatherings, and people getting together; thus, a post on a less-than-trendy college recipe.  I agree, not your typical college fare, but get outside your comfort zone and make a bigger splash the next time you have dinner.  Forewarning--he is also requesting Butternut Risotto and my Swedish Meatballs, so prepare to question my blog's usefulness on a regular basis these upcoming months! That said,  I would challenge you to see why these meals are so important!


This is the perfect recipe to create community, friendship and conversation over a fantastic meal. 
This recipe does not require any special skills. Just prep work, a dutch oven, effort, and time--sound familiar--the same qualities you need for meaningful relationships...including the dutch oven! 

Beef Goulash


Equipment:
Large skillet
Dutch Oven with ovenproof lid
5-qt Saucepan
Large ziplock bag or brown paper bag


Ingredients:
2-3 lbs chuck roast, 1" cubes
4 Tbls paprika
1 Tbls  salt
1 Tbls  pepper
9 Tbls flour
3 Tbls vegetable oil


4 large onions, chopped or sliced
2 Tbls tomato paste
3 cups of beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls red wine vinegar
1 (15 oz) can Diced Tomatoes
1 bay leaf

Egg Noodles

Instructions:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
3. Prep all of the ingredients:
    --combine flour, paprika, salt, pepper in ziplock bag
    --cut your chuck roast into 1" cubes
    --chop your onions
    --mince your garlic


4. Shake cubes of roast in flour mixture ziplock bag.


5. In a large skillet, heat your vegetable oil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. I browned some of the meat in the dutch oven itself and some in a large skillet.


6. Brown the meat on all sides. If you only have one skillet, you may have to do multiple batches.  When one batch is done, transfer browned meat to your large dutch oven.


7. Add the onions and cook x 5 minutes.



8. Add the tomato paste, beef broth, garlic, vinegar, tomatoes, and bay leaf.





9. Cook over MEDIUM heat x 5-10 minutes until combined.
10. Cover and bake in the oven at 325F degrees for 2 hours.  Meat should be tender. Sauce will be creamy and rich.


11. Salt & pepper to taste.
12. Prep your egg noodles and invite your roommates.



Guarantee: You'll Never Eat Alone with this meal.
A step-up in challenge, no doubt, but totally worth the friendships you'll make.