A good goulash is made from the dense muscle cuts of the hinds, or rounds, of your favorite venison. Goulash is easy to make but tastes like a rich-flavored entrée that took hours to prepare. It is fragrant, savory and wholesome, making it a camp or family favorite. If you have some deer, elk, moose or even hog round roasts in the freezer, here’s the perfect recipe to make them taste like the most flavorful part of the animal.
• 2½ to 3 lbs. boneless venison round roast • 3 large onions diced • 3 cloves of garlic minced • 3 tbsp pork lard or unsalted clarified butter • 2½ tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper • 1 tsp tomato paste • 1 tsp sugar • ½ tsp salt • ½ tsp black pepper • ½ tsp ground caraway seed • 2 bay leaves • ½ cup red wine (or water)
Cube the venison into 1½–inch pieces, removing any silver or course gristle. In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stock pot melt butter or lard over medium heat. Brown meat cubes until all sides are seared. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onions start to take on a dark color from the meat.
Reduce heat to a simmer and add paprika, allowing it to cook into the meat and onions for several minutes. Add the tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper, caraway seeds and bay leaf, stirring until all ingredients are well combined. Add the wine or water and stir. Place a tight fitting lid on the pot and allow the goulash to simmer, or braise, for a minimum of two hours. Stir every half hour. The goulash will thicken and extra wine or water may need to be added. Use the lowest heat setting on your burner to keep the mixture at a low simmer.
German goulash would traditionally be served with knödel, which are potato dumplings. However, it is also delicious on mashed potatoes, egg noodles or even rice. Like most dishes with gravy, the more you heat it the better it gets, so make extra as the leftovers can often top the first meal.