Monday, November 1, 2010

Steak Goulash Stew

On Halloween night, I made this stew which was served over Sour Cream and Horseradish Noodles and I also made Pumpkin Caramel Bars.

For the stew, I started by mixing together flour, sweet Hungarian paprika, salt and pepper in a paper bag. I added some sirloin steak, cut into strips and shaken to cover with the flour mixture.

Meanwhile some diced bacon was crisped in a saute pan and then removed and set aside. The flour coated steak strips went into the bacon drippings with a little olive oil added to the drippings, and seared for a minute per side. The steak was removed and set aside.

Some sliced onions and minced garlic went in next to saute for a couple of minutes before I added some tomato paste, more paprika, caraway seeds and remaining flour from the bag that I shook the steak in. This mixture was allowed to cook for a couple of minutes.

The pan was deglazed with beef broth and once thickened the steak went back in with some sliced roasted red peppers and some red wine vinegar and allowed to simmer for a few minutes to all come together.

This stew was served over cooked egg noodles mixed with a combination of sour cream, chopped fresh dill, and horseradish.

A very flavorful dinner and one I will look forward to again soon.

The Pumpkin Caramel Bars were interesting. I was intrigued by the recipe because it called for 8 oz. bacon. The bacon was diced and sauteed until crisp before being removed and set aside. Into the usual mixture of flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, egg, butter, and vanilla; 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings went into the batter. This was baked for 20 minutes and allowed to completely cool.

The frosting started with brown sugar and water with a pinch of salt in a saucepan over high heat for about 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally to melt the sugar without scorching. Some heavy cream was added long with some butter and whisked for another 2 minutes.

The caramel mixture went into the bowl of my stand mixer and whipped on high speed until the sides of the bowl were cool to the touch. Four ounces of cubed cream cheese was added, 1 cube at a time until the frosting was smooth. The frosting went over the cooled bars and sprinkled with the reserved cooked bacon, which was finely chopped.

The bars turned out great, but the frosting didn't quite work out for me. I realized I didn't whip the caramel mixture on high speed in the mixer, so that was probably part of the problem. My cream cheese was also at room temperature rather than chilled. I think these two factors made a wonderfully rich caramel sauce, but not the right consistency of a frosting.

I really couldn't taste the bacon drippings in the bars, but I actually liked the crispy, saltiness of the bacon bits over the top. I think I will give these bars the benefit of the doubt and not try to make then again.

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