I figure the name of this dish says it all~happy belly goulash! Yes, with just a few ingredients. A little time. And, a loving hands, you can make happy bellies around your dinner table!
Now the ale I used in this recipe, I think, makes a big difference in the overall flavors. Yes, you can substitute apple cider for the beer if you don’t do alcohol, but believe me, it’s worth letting this lager do its magic. While it’s a ‘seasonal’ variety, in the off season, I’m going to use a similar dark ale.
What I love about this Sam Adams ‘Old Fezziwig’ Ale~well, besides the really cool name~is the flavor profile. But, before I tell you about that, the name? It comes from Charles Dickens classic story, ‘A Christmas Carol’. Old Fezziwig is a character in the novel~and, he is the antithesis of his apprentice, Scrooge! The next time you watch the movie, you’ll have a renewed appreciation for Old Fezziwig!
The description of this ale just makes me want to take a sip, and I’m not really a beer drinker~here’s how Sam Adams describes it: ‘Spicy & bold, this festive ale is bursting with the flavors of the season. With a full body and spice it’ll help those long winter nights pass more quickly. The rich malt character creates notes of sweet toffee, caramel, & roasty chocolate while classic holiday spices like cinnamon, ginger and orange peel dance on the tongue bringing with them the celebratory spirit of the season.’
Just like Old Fezziwig in ‘A Christmas Carol’ who was a happy portly ol’ Welsh man, this ‘happy belly goulash’ will bring out your best and those traits of ‘kindness, generosity and affection’! If you can’t find the Sam Adams version, no problem, just find a dark rich ale that appeals to you.
- Preheat oven to 400
- 2 Tbl. Canola oil
- 2 Tbl. Butter, salted
- 1 ½ to 2 lb. beef, cubes
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
- 1 bottle (12 oz.) dark ale (I used Sam Adams Old Fezziwig Ale.)
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 (16 oz.) salsa, store bought
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup sweet onions, diced
- 2 cups water
- Put the oil and butter in a heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add beef cubes, salt and pepper and brown for about 8-10 minutes on all sides. (Note: Some good crustiness will form in the pot.)
- Add the ale and deglaze the pot scraping all around and getting the flavorings from the meat that are stuck on the pot/sides.
- Add the garlic, salsa, tomatoes, onions, water and blend. Cover tightly. (You can put a doubled piece of foil on the pot, then the lid on top.)
- Cook for about 75-90 minutes in a preheated 400 oven. Check twice to see if you need to add more water. (Don’t let it dry out.) After about an hour, the meat should be getting very tender and the gravy thick.
- Turn off oven. Add more water if needed. Let the goulash rest in the oven for 30-45 minutes.
Noodles aren't the only thing you might want to serve this goulash on~try rice or another type pasta.
Get creative and serve over a hot biscuit, maybe a dinner roll, a piece of grilled artisan bread.
If you want to stay away from carbs, serve it over a pile of fresh arugula splashed with some olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper!