Hungarian Beef

On Sunday night I wanted goulash. Do Texans make goulash? Or is this something only eaten in the midwest? It occurred to me that for some reason I can't quite see the southern belles down here making goulash, eating goulash, or even saying goulash. John and I love it, but we're nordic folk and goulash is in our blood.  Not really, but we like it.

This isn't exactly goulash. Sorry, I just wanted to say that one more time - what a fun word. I slow cooked a chuck roast and added whatever felt right, with the main ingredient being sweet Hungarian paprika - same as goulash.  This is less spicy though and more sweet, and served with a potato instead of over noodles. Oh so good. We are still eating it 4 days later (is that gross?)

Start by patting the chuck roast dry and coating with flour. Did you know that meat won't brown properly if it's wet? I just learned that while watching the movie 'Julie and Julia,' and Julia (as in Childs) was just as shocked as I was that no one is talking about this. Or maybe they are, and I just haven't been listening. Anyway, pat the meat good and dry. 
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot enough, add the meat and brown all sides.

Transfer the roast to a plate, and without cleaning the pot, add the onions. Saute for about 5 minutes, then add the carrots. Add the garlic and red wine. Keep the heat on med-high, and let the wine reduce down a bit.
Whisk in the tomato paste, sugar, balsamic, bay leaves, thyme, and marjoram. Stir everything together, then add the paprika and combine.
Sprinkle some flour over everything and stir, about 1/4 cup.
Whisk the mixture thoroughly, then add the meat back into the pot. Pour in the beef broth, until it is nearly covered.
Turn the heat up to high to bring the sauce to a boil. Let it boil for a minute or two, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot, and let it cook on low for about 3 hours.

With about an hour left to go, I added the mushrooms.  Place the cover back on and continue cooking. You won't want to, but do what I tell you.
After three hours, the meat should be easily shredded with a fork - pure deliciousness. 
Shred the meat, and turn the heat up to high. The sauce should thicken into a gravy - add a little corn starch + water into the corner of the pot and mix if you need to (but you shouldn't).
Transfer the meat + vegetables + gravy to a plate - that plate being your own, and eat away.
Don't throw the leftovers away, you will want it the next day on toast with sour cream. Trust me.