Hungarian Goulash

Friday 7 September 2018

Along with the cooler, more autumnal-like days has come the desire to eat things that are that tiny bit heartier.  Delicious savoury dishes such as this Goulash I am sharing today.  Goulash is basically just a stew, flavoured with paprika, peppers and tomato.  We really love it in this house.  It has been a family favourite for many, many years.

Its really a simple stew to make. Most stews are very simple, and have been the food of the common man since time began I suspect. I once read in the old days that the same pot of stew would be kept hanging over the fire with things being added to it daily.  I am not sure how much I like that idea, but stew  . . . its an old, old thing.  Most  starts off by browning cubes of beef in some fat.  The more brown you can allow them to become, the richer will be the colour of your stew.  

Most people are in  a rush and they tend to bung too much meat into the pan to brown at any given time. Don't be in a rush, do it in batches if you must . . .  trust me, it will be worth the effort in the way and amount your beef browns.  I tend to put the meat on to brown while I am preparing the  vegetables. That way I am too busy to keep stirring it and ruining the browning process. It really has the opportunity to form a nice crust and that only adds to the richness of the stew. Trust me on this. (Note, browned, not burned, you do need to pay some attention!!)

Hungarian Goulash

Once it is browned you remove the meat and you add vegetables  . . .  peppers and onions, these are cooked just until they begin to soften.  Then you add aromatics like garlic . . . . the paprika (two kinds, hot and sweet), and some thyme.  Cook only until fragrant and then you return the meat, the liquid and your other vegetables.

Carrots and potatoes.  Make sure you use the right kind of potatoes. I used some potatoes we had been given and they fell apart while the stew was cooking, very few pieces remaining whole.  Most disintegrated into the gravy, which made for a lovely thick gravy, but left not a lot of whole potatoes in the pot this time. So do choose your potatoes carefully.  Waxy or boiling potatoes are best.

You don't want to be using mealy potatoes, or the types of potatoes you would use for mashing. These will tend to disintigrate in the lengthy cooking time.  I had a few stay whole, but the majority of them didn't . . . nevermind, it still tasted gorgeous.

But my goulash was not as liquidy as it usually is, which I missed. So be warned.  There is usually lots of lovely flavourful juice which is luverly sopped up with crusty bread.

Sour dough, crusty white, whole wheat  . . .  whatever you desire.  All go well. Rye bread goes particularly well, but we just had soft white bread on the day, which was also very good.

Todd really enjoys meals like this.  He is a real meat and potatoes kind of a guy.  Meat and two veg (one of which is potato) and he is one very happy man.  I fished out as many whole pieces of potato for him that I could and he was in man-food heaven!

Yield: 4

Hungarian Goulash

prep time: 25 minscook time: 2 hour and 30 minstotal time: 2 hours and 55 mins
Not sure how authentic this is, but it sure is delicious. I never tire of this simple stew with it's mix of sweet and hot paprika. Hearty and comforting.


1 1/2 pounds boneless beef, cut into cubes
salt and black pepper to taste
1 1/2 TBS vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, trimmed, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 TBS sweet paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp hot paprika
830ml chicken stock (3 1/2 cups)
40g tomato ketchup (1/4 cup)
60ml dry red wine (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks


Preheat the oven to 165*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. 

Season the meat all over with salt and pepper.  Heat the 1 TBS of the oil in a
 medium sized oven and flame proof casserole. Add the meat, in batches
if necessary and cook until well browned on all sides.  Scoop out to a
bowl and set aside.  Add the remaining oil to the casserole and add the
onion and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the
garlic, sweet paprika, thyme and hot paprika.  Cook until fragrant, then
 add the broth, ketchup, wine, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce,
scraping up any browned bits.

Return the beef to the pan along with any juices in the bowl. Add the potatoes and
carrots. Bring to a simmer, cover and put into the preheated oven.  Cook until the meat and vegetables are tender. (2 to 2 1/2 hours) Taste and adjust seasoning as required. Spoon into bowls to serve, along with crusty bread if desired.
Created using The Recipes Generator

One lovely thing about meals like this is they taste even better the day after, which makes this the perfect meal for two.  We get to eat it fresh on the day and then again the day after when the flavours have really had a chance to develop overnight.  Brown food  . . .  I love brown food. The camera doesn't, but what does a camera really know about things that taste good!  Bon Appetit! 


  1. Sounds like pure comfort, thanks so much for sharing your recipes

  2. Not everyone's favourite ingredient but I highly recommend adding caraway seeds to goulash - it's very common in German/Austrian goulash recipes.

    1. Sounds a fabuous addition Alasdair. I love caraway seed! xo

  3. Hi Marie. Made this last night, but in an Instant Pot... 25 minutes cook time.... was very good, would make again... but I'm sure its not as good as when slow cooked in the oven.

    1. It’s nice to know it can be done successfully in the Instant Pot! Thanks so mso ch for taking the time to let us know! Xo. PS - it is pretty darned good done in the oven!


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