In a large heavy pot over medium heat add the bacon and fry for about 5 minutes until crisp and remove to paper towel and reserve.
Sauté the onions and sugar until caramelized.
Add the garlic and caraway seed.
Cook for one minute.
Add the sweet paprika, thyme(if using), marjoram(if using), and bay leaf.
Sauté another minute, until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, red peppers, and 3 cups of broth.
Bring to a boil and then simmer 10 minutes.
Remove bay leaf.
In a Dutch oven, add the oil and sauté the beef and brown evenly on all sides, turning with tongs; season generously with salt and pepper.
While beef is searing, sprinkle the flour evenly in the pot and continue to stir to dissolve any clumps.
Deglaze with vinegar and the remaining broth.
Pour the contents of the other pan into Dutch oven and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook about 1-1/2 hours until very tender, stirring occasionally.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Remove from heat and stir the sour cream into the goulash just before serving.
Garnish with chopped parsley and broken pieces of crispy bacon.
Serve with freshly made spaetzle.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks, egg and milk.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix with hand until well blended.
Do not overmix at this stage.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate.
Allow the batter to rest for at least 1 hours.
Bring salted water to a boil.
Place the batter on the end of a cutting board and cut small slices of batter into the water.
Cook for 4-5 minutes, until done.
Transfer cooked spaetzle to a bowl, with a strainer.
OR (edited 02/26/06)Place a perforated hotel pan on on top of the pot. Place the batter on the pan and force it through the holes to form spaetzles. Cook 4-5 minutes. Transfer the spaetzle to a different bowl with a strainer.
Over high heat, place a large sauté pan until it gets very hot.
Add butter and the boiled spaetzle.
Sauté until golden.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with the goulash all in one large platter(the spaetzle all round and the goulash in the middle) sprinkle with a generous amount of parsley, over the goulash as well as the spaetzle.
Serve with warm loaf of bread so as to sop up all that yummy gravy.