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Slovak Soul Food

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This is a version of goulash my grandmother adapted and I was lucky enough to learn at a young age

Slovak Soul Food


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • ½ pound beef shank with bone
  • 3 tbsp bacon drippings
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 28 os crushed tomatoes
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 24 oz baby red potatoes
  • 1 crusty loaf of bread for mopping the delicious gravy
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Combine flour salt and pepper-put in a clean bag
  2. Shake beef in the flour mixture
  3. In a large stock pot brown beef in bacon drippings-remove
  4. Add onions and garlic to remaining fat and cook until tender
  5. Return browned beef to pot and cover with water
  6. Add crushed tomatoes, paprika, bay leaves, crushed red pepper and bring to a boil
  7. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hour
  8. Add carrots and potatoes and cook until tender

Recipe Tags

This is quintessential peasant comfort food!!!

I am an advertising photographer who is lucky enough to work with food.

This is one of the first recipes I learned from my mom when I left for college and started craving for the Slovak dishes I grew up on. When you want to see a bunch of happy satisfied smiles follow these instructions.

On another note, I was friends with Matt Lauer back at Ohio University. I was room mates with his childhood bud Brian Moylan. If whoever is reading this could pass this along…Tell him “Fuzz” from the Phase One says HEY!!! We had some good times above Carol Lee Doughnuts back in the day ;) !!!

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