Guláš is such the culinary mainstay that (according to wikipedia) guláš was cooked by a legendary heroine in folklore to save her children. I'm not sure if guláš truly has any childsaving powers, but it does warm the soul like nothing else. Here is the first attempt I've made, compiled from a few different recipes - both modern magazines and a few Czech classics that've been translated.
1 lb (500 g) beef, stew meat quality
1 big onion
2 Tb sweet paprika
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) beef broth
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp marjoram
dumplings or dark bread
cucumbers or spicy pickled peppers
beer (a nice Pilsner)
Prepare the meat in large cubes, marinate in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper for 30 minutes (or overnight), or not. I actually don't think it'd make much difference if you were to skip this, but I did it anyways. Slice the onions into very thin half circles and fry the meat and onions until the meat is browned. Add the paprika and coat the meat and onions well. Add the garlic, tomato paste, broth and spices. Simmer for awhile. One tradition suggests adding little pieces of 1 dark bread slice, and when the bread pieces have dissolved, the guláš is ready. I think I did mine for about 20 minutes.
Don't worry about making too much, the leftovers are are even better after the flavours have sat together for awhile. When cooking, add more or less broth and paprika to your liking.
Are you Czech? Have you made this dish before? Do you know any other versions? My attempt tasted pretty darn good, but not a guláš-y as the restaurants. I'm not exactly sure what the difference might be from. What about in Slovakia? Is guláš made the same?
Dobrou Chut'/ Enjoy!