In a large pot (or Dutch Oven) heat the olive oil and sear the stew meat on medium-high heat until brown on all sides. About 5-7 minutes. Add sliced onions and continue to cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Stir in tomato paste, paprika, sugar, and water and combine well. Cover the dutch oven with a lid and continue to simmer for 45 minutes on medium-low heat. Stir occasionally.
Make garlic lemon butter. On medium cutting board set out softened butter, a finely diced bay leaf, lemon zest, and minced garlic. Use the flat side of a large knife and mash the ingredients until they turn into a thick paste.
Add in the lemon garlic butter. Stir until the butter has combined well and the goulash begins to thicken. Continue to simmer on low heat for an additional 3-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.