This Goulash was the trial run for a Christmas-gift Dutch oven, the results were terrific and yielded not only several lunches but also plenty of late-night post-drink snacks. It comes from a Cook's Illustrated book called The Best Recipe. Very modest, Cook's.
3 lbs beef chuck, cubed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 ox sliced bacon, cut into pieces
2 medium-large onions, about 2 cups chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
6 garlic clovers minced
2 tbsp sweet paprika
3 tbsp flour
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
4 large carrots, sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup sour cream
1. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Put beef in a bowl and coat with the salt and pepper. Fry the bacon in the Dutch oven over medium heat until golden brown. Drain bacon, saving the drippings separately. Increase heat to medium-high and heat 2 tbsp of drippings in Dutch oven. Add half of meat and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside, then repeat with another tbsp of drippings and remaining meat. Set these aside.
2. Add onions and red pepper to empty Dutch oven and saute until softened. Add garlic, paprika, and flour and cook for another minute or two. Add wine, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pot. Add stock, bay leaves, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Add meat and bacon bits and return to a simmer. Cover and place pot in oven. Cook for 1 hour.
3. Remove pot from oven and add carrots. Cover and return pot to oven. Cook just until meat is tender. 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove pot from oven.
4. Stir in parsley and sour cream, discard bay leaves, adjust seasonings, and serve. (Don't simmer the stew once you've added the cream or it will curdle.)
You could easily eat this on its own, but it's best served over egg noodles.