Friday, February 18, 2011

Hungarian Goulash Made Easy

What's for dinner?  Well at my house, it's a stick to your ribs meat and potatoes meal, which I first saw on a cooking show, than tweaked and spiced to my liking. Simple, delicious and addicting!

Hungarian Goulash
3½- to 4 pounds chuck roast, trimmed of fat, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup dried sweet paprika
3 large red peppers, steamed in the microwave for 6-8 minutes until tender (You will use them to make 1 cup of paste.)
1/4 – 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
3 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large onions, diced (about 6 cups)
4 large carrots, scraped and sliced (about 2 cups)
1 bay leaf
1 cup water with 1 large beef bouillon cube
Salt and black pepper

1) Sprinkle the beef with 1 teaspoon salt and let it sit for 15 minutes.  Then sear the meat until golden brown.  Set aside. [Hungarians throw the meat in raw.] 
2) In a food processor, mix the paprika, steamed red peppers, crushed tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons of vinegar until smooth.  Set aside.
3) Combine the olive oil, onions, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large Dutch oven.  Cover and cook 8-10 minutes until the onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
4) Now stir in the paprika paste.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just begin to stick to the bottom of the pot; takes about 2 minutes.
5) Add the beef, carrots, and bay leaf.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Make sure all ingredients are mixed well.  Cover the Dutch oven and transfer into a heated kitchen oven.  You will cook this for 2 ½-3 hours at 350 degrees F.
6) Check every 30 minutes and as necessary, add water flavored with one beef bullion cube.  You want a finished sauce that is not runny, or dry.
7) Continue to cook until the beef is tender when poked with a fork.  You should have a rich, thickish sauce.

Optional:  I chop 4 cloves of garlic and cook them along with the onions.  I also add parsley and a dash of cheyenne pepper and nutmeg to the dish before putting it in the oven.  I have also been known to throw in peas [last 10 minutes].  I like color and one pot cooking.

Serve the goulash over potatoes, noodles or rice.  My carbohydrate of choice is usually potatoes.  Top with a teaspoon of vinegar.  Enjoy!

You may also enjoy:
Healthy Spices In A Well-Stocked Kitchen
Pass The Pepper Mill, Please
Secret Recipes From Popular Restaurants
What Do You Stock In Your Freezer?


  1. we don't eat beef at home, probably will try with lamb.

  2. I like to brown the meat first, also. Tastes better to me, somehow.

  3. Nava, you could probably use any meat your family likes.

    And Loretta, the cooking show didn't sear the meat first, but I'm with you!

  4. On a snowy day, food like this- that sticks to the hips, is what's needed. I have made a similar dish using OLD BAY spice instead of paprika, makes a hot goulash.

    With Fettuccine, or a wide noodle, this is terrific.

  5. The funny thing is, what Hungarians nowadays call a Goulash (gulyásleves) is definitely a soup! It's in its name as well, since "leves" means soup. To me your recipe is more similar to that of another Hungarian dish, called "pörkölt." :-))

  6. Good to know, Monika. Pureeing the red peppers definitely gives the dish a creamy consistency. Certainly, a cook could add more water, or just not put the peppers in the food processor to get a soup.