Beef goulash—it even sounds warm and homey. Sure to warm up hungry tummies on cold evenings, this stew is especially nice because it's stocked with vegetables, flavored with sweet paprika, enriched with sour cream, and topped with dumplings that would make your grandmother cry happy tears.

Serves 2


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 12 ounces top sirloin or flat-iron steak, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1 Tbsp.tomato paste
  • 3 new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until it has given off its fat but isn't crispy yet, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and 1/2 tsp. salt and spread the beef cubes out in an even layer in the pan. Let the meat brown on one side without moving it, about 3 minutes. Turn the meat with tongs or a fork to brown on a second side, another 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika, and tomato paste and continue to sauté until the vegetables begin to soften and the bottom of the pan gets nice and brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add the potatoes, beef broth, vinegar, and a few grinds of pepper and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Combine the milk and butter in a cup and microwave on high for 10 seconds at a time until the butter is melted. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the simmering stew; you should have enough for about about eight dumplings.

Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the stew until the vegetables and dumplings are tender, about 15 minutes. (Don't peek! The steam will be released and your dumplings may not be as puffy and light as they could be.) To check for doneness, run a toothpick into a dumpling. It should come out with dry crumbs adhering to it, not wet and gooey. If it's wet, cover and cook another 3 minutes and check again.

Scoop the dumplings into warmed bowls. Taste the stew for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle the stew over the dumplings and top each portion with a dollop of the sour cream. Serve hot.

From One Pan, Two Plates: More Than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two (Chronicle) by Carla Snyder.

More Recipes for Two


Next Story