The adjoining regions of Friuli and Venezia-Giulia border Austria and Slovenia, which goes a long way to explaining why the name of this dish sounds more like something you'd encounter in Mittel-Europe than at your local trattoria. Polenta is a staple in this part of Italy, but pasta also makes an admirable partner for this goulash.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 50 ml olive oil
- 1.5 kg lean oyster blade steak, fat trimmed, cut into 4-5cm pieces
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 500 ml red wine
- 400 gm canned whole tomatoes
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- 6 thyme sprigs
- To serve: soft polenta
- 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1Preheat oven to 170C. Dry-roast cumin seeds until fragrant (2-3 minutes), coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle and set aside.
- 2Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat, add 2 tsp oil and half the beef and cook, turning once, until golden (2-4 minutes). Transfer to a casserole and repeat with another 2 tsp oil and remaining beef. Add remaining 2 tsp oil to pan, then add onion and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until golden (10-15 minutes). Add garlic and stir for 20 seconds, then add wine, tomato, vinegar, paprika, thyme and cumin, season to taste and bring to the simmer, stirring to deglaze pan. Transfer to casserole, then bring to the simmer over high heat, cover and braise in oven until beef is very tender (1½-2 hours).
- 3Meanwhile, for gremolata, combine ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until required.
- 4Scatter goulash with gremolata and serve hot with soft polenta.
This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of .