2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds top loin, chuck roast, or boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, cut into 1 to 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground caraway
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 teaspoon oregano
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
Sour cream, parsley, and buttered noodles, for serving
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Thoroughly dry beef with paper towels then season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown half of the beef in the skillet over moderately high heat, about 12 minutes. Transfer them to a slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining beef.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook over low heat, stirring, until the onion is barely softened, about 5 minutes. Optionally, you can do a quick deglaze here with 1/4 of dry vermouth or other dry white wine. Sprinkle in the flour; stirring until oil is absorbed and flour begins to cook (3-5 minutes). Stir in the tomato paste. Add the paprika, caraway and coriander and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with about half of the chicken stock, being sure to scrape up the browned bits. Transfer the mixture into the slow cooker.
Add the remaining stock, oregano, thyme and bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil on high. Cook for 4 hours on high, until the meat is very tender. Discard the bay leaves and thyme and spoon off as much fat from the sauce as possible. Serve the goulash in deep bowls with a dollop of sour cream and buttered noodles, sprinkle with chopped parsley.