Hungarian-Style Shepherd's Pie

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 large red bell pepper

2 pounds top sirloin or sirloin tips cut into bite-size pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flour, for dredging

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion or 2 medium onions, chopped

2 to 3 medium carrot, small dice

4 cloves garlic, sliced

About 1/4 cup sweet paprika

1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds, half a palmful

A couple sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves picked and chopped or about 2 teaspoons dried

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 cups beef stock

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed or sliced 1-inch thick

2 to 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

2 tablespoons butter

2/3 to 1 cup sour cream

1 egg

A handful fresh dill, parsley or chives, finely chopped


  1. Char the bell pepper over an open burner flame or under the broiler with the oven door slightly cracked for the steam to escape until black, turning frequently. Place the charred pepper in a bowl until cool enough to handle, then peel the pepper, chop, and reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, pat the meat dry and season liberally with salt and pepper, dredge in flour. Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the meat and brown on both sides. Remove the browned meat to a plate and add the remaining olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, paprika, caraway, marjoram and cook to soften 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and stir 1 minute. Stir in the beef stock and Worcestershire and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and slide the meat and peppers into the pot. Cook 30 minutes, until beef is just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and parsnips until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to the hot pot and mash with salt, pepper, butter, sour cream, egg, and herb of choice.
  4. Place the goulash into a casserole dish and top with potatoes. Cool the dish completely and store for make-ahead meal.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Reheat and bake until heated through and potatoes are brown on top, 45 to 60 minutes. If you do not make this dish as a make ahead meal then brown potatoes under hot broiler on the middle rack of the oven 5 to 7 minutes until golden at edges.