Introducing our Hungarian stew recipe and Csaba …

With winter clearly on it’s way, I’ve decided to add a few more warming dishes to our menu. Stew is the way forward! Warming, nutritious and darned yummy. Just what we like at the Cragg Sisters.

Behind the scenes, kept in the kitchen and away from the general public – for their own good …. is Csaba, our gorgeous Hungarian, full time chef. Csaba fills in the gaps in the kitchen when I escape for a day or two and generally comes up with new inspiring kitchen ideas.

Csaba and cake!

Csaba and cake!

Csaba (pronounced like Chubba) has helped us at the tearoom, part time for a while now, whilst also working flat out in one of the very prestigious Aldeburgh restaurants. However, this year, the Cragg Sister’s Tearoom was now in a position to ask Csaba to join our team full time, and we haven’t looked  back! Csaba is a fully trained pastry chef and his knowledge of all things sweet has really come in handy. He is very competent in all aspects of cooking and has helped me design some new dishes for our winter menu. Starting with, but of course, the classic Hungarian dish, beef goulash – albeit Anglicised! We thought it would be great to share our recipe and give a little winter warmth to you all. A few tips to help add a little more to your stew – we use beef shin, slow cooked so it fulls apart into a rich gooey meaty heaven. You can of course use chuck, just be careful it’s not too lean and doesn’t dry out – a bit of fat works very well with this dish. You can’t use enough paprika! But do try to buy good quality paprika, it does make a difference. I like to use green and red peppers, the red works well to enhance the paprika sweetness and the green adds a lovely bite against this. I usually serve this dish with rice, but mashed potatoes or even tagliatelle works just as well.

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3½

600g Shin of beef

1tbsp rapeseed oil

3tbsp sweet paprika

2tsp hot smoked paprika

1tbsp flour

2 white onions thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1 green pepper sliced length ways into 1cm width slices

1 red pepper sliced length ways into 1cm width slices

Juice 1 lemon

1 beef stock cube

1 can chopped tomatoes

400ml cold water

400ml soured cream (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

  • Cut the beef into 4cm chunks
  • Put the beef into a bowl with the flour, hot smoked paprika and salt and pepper to taste – stir well so that the beef is completely covered.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan or a casserole dish if you have one that can be used on both hobs and in an oven. Add the beef and fry until it’s browned all over.
  • Now add the onions and garlic and fry these, on a lower heat until nice and soft.
  • Now add the peppers and your sweet paprika and fry gently.
  • Pour the lemon juice over all of your ingredients and cook gently for 5 minutes
  • Crumble the beef stock cube over the top of the ingredients, add the water and can of chopped tomatoes. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  • Now, either put your dish in the oven or transfer the ingredients from your frying pan into an oven-proof dish and place in the oven.
  • Cook for 1½ hours at this temperature. If you have more time, turn the oven down and cook for longer. The longer you cook this dish, the better it tastes!

Once cooked and ready to serve, pour in the soured cream  – but only if you want to – it’s not a necessity but it does taste lovely!

So, an easy peasy but incredibly scrummy winter dish that will put a smile on any (meat eater’s) face.

From Aldeburgh with Love, Emma X


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The Cragg Sisters Tearoom, 110 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk IP15 5AB, 07813 552 181