- 2 1/2 pounds veal shoulder or boned shank meat, cut into bite-size cubes, or 2 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder or boned leg meat, cut into bite-size cubes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 3 onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon good-quality sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2-3 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large fresh bay leaves
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 large heirloom or organic tomato, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (if using veal) or beef stock (if using lamb)
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine (if using veal) or dry red wine (if using lamb)
- 1 cup creme fraiche, plus a few dollops for garnish
- 1/2 cup drained caperberries, for garnish (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Bring the meat to room temperature. Pat the meat dry with paper towels, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Heat a drizzle of EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meat in batches and cook until deep brown all over. Transfer to a plate.
Add another drizzle of EVOO to the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter and let it melt into the EVOO. Add the onions and cook until very tender, 15-20 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons paprika, the cumin, garlic, bay leaves, bell peppers and tomatoes and stir to combine and heat through, 1-2 minutes. Add the stock and wine, then return the meat to the pot. Cover with a lid, transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.
Remove the meat to a platter and cover with foil. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce in the pot. Stir in the creme fraiche and cook until the sauce is reduced, 20-30 minutes. Return the meat to the pot. (If you are not serving immediately, cool the stew and then refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat in a moderate oven or over a medium flame.) Just before serving, stir inthe remaining 1 teaspoon paprika to brighten the flavor.
For garnish, fry the caperberries in a little EVOO until crisp. Top the stew with a few dollops of creme fraiche and the fried caperberries. (The green, red and white colors signify the Hungarian flag.)
Any leftover stew is great for lunch or with poached eggs.