1 tablespoon cooking oil
 4 large onions, thinly-sliced
 1 pound beef suitable for stewing (i.e., chuck, round, etc.), cut
      into bite-size pieces
 1 small can (8 oz.) tomato paste
 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 2 tablespoons (yes, that much!) sweet paprika
 1 tablespoon caraway seed (optional, but they'll dissolve in the long 
      cooking so don't omit them just to keep them out of your teeth--
      they do give flavor)
 water
      Heat oil in a large heavy pot which has a cover.  Add onions,
 and cook covered over medium-low heat for ten minutes, stirring
 occasionally.  Onions should be translucent and limp after that
 time, but not brown.  Remove onions (I simply invert the covered pot
 and let them be caught by the cover) and set aside.  Raise heat and
 brown cubes of beef in batches, so as not to cool the pot by putting
 too many in.  Return onions; add tomato paste and seasonings, and
 just enough water to barely cover the mixture.  Stir well; raise
 heat to bring pot to boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer and
 cover.  Cook for as long as you can manage, at least three hours, or
 place for the same time or longer in oven heated to 250 degrees.
 The onions should dissolve and disappear into the sauce.  The longer
 this cooks over low heat the better it will taste, and as with all
 these long-cooked things, it’s even better the day after it’s first
 cooked.  Serve ladled over cooked noodles or rice, and use any
 leftovers just as they are as a shepherd’s pie topped with mashed
 potato mixed with egg and browned in the oven.