Slow-Cooker Monday: Hungarian Beef Stew

Around 4:00, when my kids and I arrived home after school pickup, the house smelled wonderful, like beef and cabbage gently braising with paprika and tomato sauce. I had put this stew in the slow cooker at 9:30 and I think it was ready, but we let it go for 2 1/2 more hours, until my husband arrived home from work. By that time the flavors were muddled and the beef and cabbage had become a mushy mess. I added more salt and served it over noodles; it was fine but I think a shorter cooking time would've made the dish much better.

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I started with the vegetables, slicing 2 onions and 1/2 small head of cabbage. I just dumped in a 16-ounce bag of baby carrots whole. Then I mixed 1 1/2 cups water with 1/2 cup red wine and poured that in with a 6-ounce can tomato paste, 1 teaspoon whole caraway seeds, 1 tablespoon paprika and an envelope of onion soup mix (we don't do mushrooms here).

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I cut up just over 1 pound beef stew meat and added it to the cooker. Mixed everything together, then cooked 10 hours on low. I had started the stew on high for an hour, which also probably contributed to the mushy texture. Next time I'll follow the directions!

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At the very end I turned off the cooker and added 1 cup sour cream. Served with curly egg noodles.

More stews for fall:

[link href="" link_updater_label="external_hearst" target="_blank"]10 Superb Stews

Kim Walker

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