Clean the fat and veins from the meat—Pat dry using paper towels. Cut the meat into 2 cm (1-inch) chunks. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and one tbsp of olive oil.
onions and garlic
Peel and dice onions and garlic. Place a large cast-iron casserole over low heat, add 3 tbsp of olive oil and onions. Cook for about 20 - 30 minutes, or until the onions are lovely, soft, and translucent. Stir occasionally. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
cook the goulash
Add the meat, increase the heat and cook for 5 minutes while constantly stirring until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown. Reduce the heat, add the tomato paste and sweet paprika powder, hot paprika powder. Stir to combine and cook for two more minutes. Add the red wine, cook for an additional 2 - 3 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate. Add the bay leaves and water. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes - 3 hours. Stir well every half an hour. If necessary, add more water.
Divide the Hungarian Goulash between four plates and serve. Optionally serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, tagliatelle pasta. A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped parsley also make a lovely addition.