A budget dinner doesn’t have to come at the expense of rich flavors.
Chuck blade steaks, for example, need just a bit of extra love (and time) to be transformed into a tender, tasty and richly seasoned meal, all for about $1.50 per serving.
Cut from the muscular and often tough chuck or shoulder, these affordable steaks do best with a moist-heat cooking method, such as braising, which helps tenderize them. This chuck steak goulash – a simplified version of the Hungarian classic – provides that.
The key to success is to simmer the steaks gently. Cook the steaks at too high a temperature and the meat gets even tougher.
Like a great stew, this savory, onion-rich goulash improves after a day or two in the refrigerator, making for great leftovers. To stretch the dish a bit further, serve over a heap of buttered egg noodles.
Chuck Steak Goulash
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound boneless chuck blade steaks, trimmed of fat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
14-ounce can beef broth
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
In a small bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Dredge the steaks through the flour mixture until well coated.
In a large skillet over medium, heat the olive oil. Add the steaks and cook until well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to a plate and set aside.
Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the onions and saute until well browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the paprika and caraway seeds and cook for 1 minute longer.
Stir in the beef broth. Return the steaks to the skillet and cover the pan tightly. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the steaks are quite tender and the sauce is thickened, 45 to 55 minutes.
Season with salt and stir in parsley, if using.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 316 calories; 171 calories from fat; 19 grams fat (7 grams saturated; 1 grams trans fats); 82 milligrams cholesterol; 10 grams carbohydrate; 25 grams protein; 1 grams fiber; 428 milligrams sodium.