When Gundel's, Hungary's greatest restaurant--it opened in 1910, lasted through two world wars and even survived (barely) under Communism, shuttered less than 10 years--reopened in May of 1992, it reminded the world how elegant Hungarian food could be. This tycoon's gulyas, for instance, is a sophisticated rendering of the humble dish most of us call Hungarian goulash. It's called a "tycoon's" dish because it uses an expensive cut of meat, lightly cooked, instead of a cheaper cut, which would simmer in the sauce for hours.
1 3/4 cups minced onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
Freshly ground pepper
1 veal bone, cracked in half
3 cups water
3 small green pepppers, seeded and thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
Hot Hungarian paprika
2 pounds beef tenderloin, cut into cubes
In medium saucepan, saute onions and garlic in 1/3 cup oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in sweet paprika, caraway seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Add veal bone and water and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Remove and discard veal bone. Add green peppers, tomatoes and hot paprika to taste to saucepan. Stir and simmer 20 minutes. If sauce is too thin at this point (doesn't coat back of spoon lightly), raise heat to medium-high to reduce to proper consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste. (Sauce may be made ahead to this point and reheated gently just before serving.)
Just before serving, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat in large heavy skillet. Add meat and cook quickly, stirring constantly until outside of meat is browned and inside is rare. (Can do in batches in order not to crowd pan.) Remove meat with slotted spoon onto serving dish and pour heated sauce over meat. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.