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Name of Event

Czech Republic St. Wenceslas Day

Cuisine From

Europe Eastern

Description

Traditional beef stew flavored with paprika and spices.

Summary

Yield 4-6 servings
Preparation time 15- 20 minutes
Cooking time 2 to 2/1/2 hours
Main Ingredient Beef

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds/1 kg boneless beef chuck steak
  • 4 ounces (about 4 thick-cut slices) bacon, roughly chopped
  • Vehgetable cooking oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 3 yellow/white onions (about 1 pound/1/2 kg), sliced into thin half moons
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti or Zinfandel
  • 2 cups good-quality chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups good-quality beef stock, preferably homemade 
  • 2 red bell peppers/capsicums, sliced lengthwise into thin strips 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked according package directions
  • 8 ounces sour cream, for serving
  • Fresh dill, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Cut beef into 1-inch cubes.  Pat dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven/casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and fry until crisp and golden, about 7-9 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the remaining fat in the pot, and set aside.
  4. Add 1/3 of the beef cubes to the bacon fat (do not stir or disturb the meat) and cook until the bottoms are seared and deep golden brown (almost black), about 3-5 minutes. Turn beef and continue cooking until remaining sides are browned, another 3-5 minutes. Set aside the beef in a separate bowl.
  5. Allow the fat in the pan to reheat for a minute or so (and to cook out any residual meat juices before continuing. Add the next 1/3 of beef and a glug or two of oil if the pot seems dry. Repeat the searing process until all the meat is browned and set the bowl aside.
  6. Lower the heat to medium and add a couple tablespoons oil. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and caraway seeds and sauté for another minute or so. Stir in the paprika, tomato paste, and marjoram until well combined.
  7. Pour in the wine and increase heat to high. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any leftover browned bits. Add stocks, browned beef, and reserved bacon to the pot and bring mixture to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 1 hour, then stir in the bell peppers. Return to the oven and continue cooking until the meat is quite tender, another 45 minutes to an hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Ladle over cooked egg noodles, and serve with a big dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill.
  9. This recipe is even better made a day or two in advance. Just reheat in the same Dutch oven over medium-low to medium until warmed through.