Paprikash, a popular Hungarian stew, has many versions. Any meat may be used. Beef, pork, chicken, veal or lamb are all often used. Mushroom parikash is also a very popular variation. All will feature a hefty amount of sweet paprika, sautéed onions and sour cream. Bell peppers and tomatoes occasionally appear in some recipes.
This variation features thinly sliced beef and makes a rich sour cream gravy spiked with vibrant paprika. It’s perfect with the thick homemade noodles that are served with it. Think of it as a beef stroganoff with a healthy dose of paprika.
If your paprika has been on your spice rack for more than 6 months, go buy new paprika for this. Fresh paprika will be brilliant red and will impart a lively flavor and vivid color of a paprikash. If your paprika is not brilliant red, it has oxidized and has lost it’s character.
Thinly sliced beef is used here for a quicker paprikash. If larger cubes of meat or chicken parts are used, just increase the cooking time and simmer until tender.
1 – 1 ½ pounds thinly sliced beef
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz fresh mushrooms thickly sliced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup paprika, divided
1 cup white wine
½ cup water
8 ounces full fat sour cream (not reduced fat)
Slice the beef thinly and place on a large plate or pie pan. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Add the flour. With fingertips, toss the beef until it is evenly coated with the flour. Tap off any excess flour.
In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the beef. Stir fry until some brown bits form on the meat.
Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Add half of the paprika and sauté until everything is coated with the spice. Add the wine and the water. The liquid should only come up to about ½ of the level of the beef. Stir and cover with a lid and lower the heat to low. Simmer with a lid on for about an 45 minutes or until the beef is tender.
When the meat is tender, taste the liquid for seasoning and add additional salt if needed. Stir the remaining paprika.
Place the sour cream in a small bowl and stir about 6 tablespoons of the cooking liquid , 2 tablespoons at a time into the sour cream to warm it up, then add all back into the meat mixture. Brink back to a boil over medium heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Serve over noodles, spaetzle or mashed potatoes.