1 kilo2 lbsstewing beefcut into bite-sized pieces 1 kilo2 lbsyellow onionsfinely sliced or minced 2-3TbsHungarian paprika sweet or a mixture of sweet and spicy Red wine or Beef Stock One sprig of fresh rosemary, a sprig of fresh thyme (or marjoram) and a bay leaftied into a bundle 2-3Tbstomato paste Zest on one orange (Just zest, not the white part) Lard or olive oil Salt and pepper
In a large braiser or sauté pan, melt two large dollops of lard. (If using olive oil, heat up enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and orange zest and gently sauté them, turning often, until translucent and quite soft and reduced by at least half.
Raise the heat to medium and add the beef. Sauté the beef until browned lightly, taking care not to burn the onions. Season with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle over the paprika, stirring so that all the beef pieces are covered. Continue sautéing the beef and onions for just a few moments more.
If using, add a good pour of red wine and simmer until the wine has evaporated.
Now add enough water (or broth) so the beef is nearly covered, along with the tomato paste if using. Nestle the herb bundle in among the beef pieces.
Cover and braise for 2-3 hours, until the beef is tender and the onions have completed melted. Remove the herb bundle.
The cooking liquid should have reduced into a dark and unctuous sauce, abundant but full of flavor. Add water or broth as needed if things seem to be drying out too much. If, on the other hand, the sauce is too thin, simmer uncovered until it has reduced to the right consistency. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
While you can serve your goulash immediately, it is better after a good rest of several hours. Or, even better, overnight.