I must make a confession, and with it I ask to be excused for my actions further on, even if they seem unforgivable from a purist stand point: I originally thought Goulash was Czech. Bearing this in mind, and also considering my limited, repetitive (albeit very delicious) spice cabinet, you will hopefully understand why I've taken a classic HUNGARIAN recipe and turned it into something similar, but at the core very different. In fact, what I have simmering on the stove at this very moment is closer to a ragu than it will ever be to a goulash.
Puerto Rican Goulash
1.5 lbs. stewing lamb or veal, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatos, with juice
1 cup beer (pilsner ideally, lager otherwise, Medalla if possible)
1.5 tbls. Paprika (the sweet kind, not the spicy kind)
½ tsp. oregano or marjoram
1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
½ tsp. cumin seeds or caraway seeds
Salt and pepper
Olive or vegetable oil
If possible prepare the lamb the night before. Trim excess fat, cut into cubes, and season with salt and pepper, leave sitting overnight (lamb will have a better flavor, see Food & Wine article). It’s fine if you only have time to season it a few hours earlier (which I did).
In a crock pot or dutch over, coat bottom with oil. When hot (but not smoking), add lamb and cook until browned. Toss in onions and green peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic, let cook for about a minute then stir in paprika. Mix in cumin seeds, oregano, and parsley and stir in with diced tomatoes. Finally, add beer, season goulash with salt and pepper, stir and bring to a low boil. Leave simmering, partially covered, for an hour or until lamb is fork tender. Stir frequently! (The beer makes the sauce thicken and it can stick to the bottom of the pot.)
Let the goulash sit for 10 minutes, partially covered, before serving.
Serve with potatoes, rice, egg noodles, or bread dumplings.