- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (corn, canola, or safflower oil)
- 1½ pounds boneless beef chuck or sirloin tip or round, cut into 1 to 1½-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
- 1 small or ½ medium green pepper, cored, seeds removed, and chopped
- 1 small fresh or dried bay leaf, crumbled
- ½ to 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika or to taste (see note)
- ¾ teaspoon finely snipped fresh marjoram leaves (no stems) or ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 (14 to 16-ounce) can diced tomatoes (include liquid)
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon flour
- ½ cup sour cream or reduced-fat or no-fat sour cream (optional)
- Hot cooked medium to wide egg noodles as desired (optional)
- Minced parsley (no stems) as desired for garnish (optional)
In a Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan, heat oil over moderate heat; add beef cubes and brown thoroughly, stirring frequently. Drain beef, keeping drippings in pan, and set aside. Add onion and green pepper to hot pan drippings and sauté just until crisp tender. Blend in seasonings, tomatoes, and ½ cup water; return meat to pan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until meat is fork tender.
In a 1-cup measure, combine flour with 1 tablespoon water, blending until smooth; stir mixture into goulash. Add sour cream, if desired, blending well. Continue to cook over low heat until thickened. Adjust seasoning to taste.
May serve plain or over hot cooked noodles as desired. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of minced parsley, if desired.