This is the best goulash recipe ever! I have been making it for years and it always turns out perfect. The flavor of the beef, paprika, and caraway really come together perfectly. You can serve it over tender egg noodles, dumplings, crusty bread, or creamy mashed potatoes and you will have a meal that everyone will love.
This Hungarian goulash recipe is easy to follow and yields a delicious, hearty meal that will please everyone at the table. It is made with hearty chunks of beef that are simmered in a rich, flavorful tomato sauce. Then, it’s enhanced with paprika, onions, and garlic to create an irresistible flavor that will have you coming back for seconds and thirds.
The key to making the best goulash recipe is to use fresh ingredients. If you can, get your hands on some fresh Hungarian paprika. It really makes a difference in the flavor of the dish. Also, make sure to use good quality beef and simmer it for a long time so it becomes fork-tender and the flavors can stand out.
Not only is this goulash recipe absolutely scrumptious, but it’s also super easy to make; you can make it as mild or as spicy as you like. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile. So if you’re looking for a show-stopping dish that’s sure to please, give this one a try and you will definitely enjoy it.
What are the different types of goulash?
This is the most well-known type of goulash. It is often served as a soup or stew over egg noodles or dumplings. This traditional Hungarian dish is typically prepared with chunks of beef that are slow-cooked in paprika-infused tomato sauce until they’re melt-in-your-mouth tender. It includes other ingredients such as caraway seeds, salt, peppers, and onions; some recipes call for the addition of tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
This American recipe is more of a casserole-style dish made with a tomato-based sauce. It contains ground beef, tomatoes (canned or fresh), onions, elbow macaroni noodles, and spices. Sometimes cheese is added on top of American goulash. American goulash is also called American Chop Suey.
- Beef: If you want to make a traditional Hungarian goulash, then you need to use beef chuck as your choice of meat. This is because it has a higher fat content, which makes for a more flavorful dish. However, if you are looking for a healthier option, you can use leaner cuts of beef such as sirloin or flank steak.
- Paprika: It’s essential that you use Hungarian paprika for this dish. This type of paprika is different from regular paprika that we often buy from the store, it is made from peppers that have been dried and then ground into a powder. It has a bright red color and a slightly sweet flavor with just a hint of heat. If you can’t find Hungarian paprika, you can substitute it with equal parts smoked paprika and sweet paprika.
- Onions: Onions are essential for flavor in goulash, they add sweetness and depth of flavor that really rounds out the taste of the dish.
- Garlic: A few cloves of garlic add just the right amount of pungency to the goulash. Don’t skimp on this ingredient!
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes add acidity and brightness to the stew. Use fresh tomatoes if possible, but canned will also work in a pinch.
- Bell peppers: Adding bell peppers to Hungarian goulash is a great way to give the dish an extra bit of flavor and color. Plus they add a touch of sweetness and crunch. I prefer the red and the yellow or orange variety, the green peppers are not traditional as they are slightly bitter and may affect the taste of the dish.
- Lard/butter: Lard is the traditional fat used in this recipe because it gives the dish a rich, porky flavor. Since it was difficult to find that in the store I decided to use a combination of oil and butter to brown the meat and the dish still turned out really tasty.
- Carrots: Some recipes for Hungarian goulash do call for carrots, while others don’t. I personally love the sweetness and texture that carrots add to this traditional dish.
- Caraway seed: Caraway seeds have a long history of being used in Eastern European cuisine. They add a unique flavor to dishes that are both earthy and slightly sweet. In addition to their flavor, caraway seeds also have health benefits. If you choose to use them, crush them first with a mortar and pestle before adding to the stew.
- Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce is not always used in this classic dish, but I love that it adds a touch of acidity and umami flavor. It is not necessary if you don’t have it handy.
- Beef stock: This is what gives the dish a rich flavor and helps to create a thick, hearty stew. You can either use homemade stock or use store-bought if preferred. You want to make sure that the stock you use is not too salty.
- Bay leaf: This is used for its flavor and aroma, which, adds a subtle but distinct taste to the dish.
- Pepper and salt: These ingredients are necessary to balance out the taste of other ingredients.
- Potatoes: Potatoes are typically added towards the end of cooking so that they don’t turn into mush, they add creaminess and bulk to the dish, making it satisfying and filling.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley not only adds flavor but gives a beautiful color to the dish.
How to make the best goulash recipe ever
The first thing you need to do is to brown the beef in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pot, add the meat, and brown on one side for 4 minutes. Once done remove the beef and set aside. This process will add tons of flavor to the dish. You can add more oil after every round and make sure to cook the meat in batches and not overcrowd them.
Next, add the diced onions and cook for about 7 minutes until they’re beautifully caramelized. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 1 minute until they are softened.
After that, reduce heat and stir in paprika, crushed caraway seeds, diced tomatoes, and bell peppers, and cook for 5 minutes while stirring constantly until fragrant.
Gradually stir in beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot, return the browned meat to the content, add bay leaves, then season it with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. This is the time to allow the soup to simmer on low heat until the beef is juicy and tender; this will take about an hour or more.
Once the beef is cooked through, add in some cubed potatoes and carrots (if desired) and let them cook for another 20-30 minutes. It is best to add potatoes during the last 30 minutes of cooking, so they don’t crumble into the stew during the long cooking time.
Finally, garnish the stew with chopped parsley, taste, and adjust salt and pepper if there is a need, then serve your beef goulash with garlic bread or over egg noodles.
What to serve with goulash
This traditional goulash is typically served over egg noodles or rice, making it a filling and satisfying meal. And if you’re looking for other side dishes that go well with it, I have got you covered. Below are some of my favorite sides that go perfectly with this dish.
- Potato salad: A traditional German potato salad is the perfect accompaniment to goulash. The vinegar-based dressing pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of the stew.
- Cucumber salad: Cucumber salad is another refreshing option that goes well with this stew/soup. The cool and crunchy cucumbers provide a contrast to this hearty stew.
- Bread: A simple loaf of bread is always a good idea when serving goulash. Whether you opt for rye bread, garlic butter bread, sourdough, or something else, it’s the perfect way to mop up all that delicious gravy.
- Potatoes: Boiled, mashed, or roasted potatoes are all great options to pair with this dish. They soak up the delicious gravy of this dish perfectly.
- Dumplings: For a taste of the old country, try serving your goulash with spaetzle. These little dumplings are traditional in German cuisine and make a perfect accompaniment to rich stews like this one.
- Roasted Brussels sprouts: They make a delicious and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with this dish
- Green beans: Green beans are a classic side dish that goes well with just about anything. They’ll add a pop of color to your plate and round out the meal nicely.
What is traditional goulash made of?
Traditional Hungarian beef stew is typically made with cubed beef, which is slowly simmered in tomato sauce until they’re fork-tender. Then, a variety of vegetables are added to the pot, including onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. The entire mixture is then seasoned with paprika which gives the dish its characteristic flavor. Garlic, salt, and pepper are also used to season the dish. However, there are many different variations of goulash out there. Some other recipes may call for the addition of potatoes, celery, and carrots. Others include a bit of sour cream or yogurt to add a bit of creaminess to the dish.
What is goulash vs stew?
Goulash is actually a type of soup or stew that originated in Hungary. The word “goulash” comes from the Hungarian word gulyás, which means “herdsman” or “cowboy.” This makes sense when you consider that the dish was originally made with beef (and sometimes pork), although nowadays chicken or turkey version is also quite common.
So what sets this dish apart from other types of stew? Goulash typically contains paprika, (a spice associated with Hungarian cuisine) which gives it a characteristic red color and slightly spicy flavor. Regular stews can be made with a variety of different root vegetables, including tomatoes, herbs, and spices, but they don’t typically contain paprika.
How do you thicken goulash?
The best way to thicken soup/stew is with cornstarch. Simply mix together equal parts of cornstarch and cold water to form a slurry. Then whisk the slurry into the stew and cook it over low heat until thickened. Another way to thicken it is to add some diced tomatoes. The tomatoes will help to thicken the sauce and give it a nice chunky texture. Finally, you could add some tomato paste to the recipe. This will also give it a richer flavor and thicker consistency.
If you want a really thick goulash, you can add in some cooked ground beef. This will not only thicken it but will also add some body and texture that can be lacking in a purely vegetable-based stew. If you don’t want to go with any of these methods, you can cook it for a longer period of time so that the water evaporates, leaving a thicker mixture.
What is the best cut of meat for goulash?
The best cut of meat for goulash is definitely beef chuck. Beef chuck is a rich and flavorful cut of meat that’s perfect for slow cooking. It’s also relatively inexpensive, which makes it a great choice if you are on a budget. You also want to make sure that your beef is well-marbled. This means that there is a good amount of fat running through the meat. This fat will render down the soup as it cooks and add tons of flavor to the dish. Other good choices include stewing beef, round roast, and brisket. You could also try using a different type of meat altogether, like pork shoulder, lamb shoulder, chicken thighs, or breast.
Why is my goulash meat tough?
One reason why your meat is tough could be that you didn’t cook it long enough. Goulash is traditionally made with tougher meat but other types of meat could be used too. Make sure to slow-cook the meat over low heat to allow the flavors to develop and the meat to become tender. If you’re cooking it too quickly over high heat, the meat will likely become tough.
The type of pan you use to cook your goulash can also affect how tender the meat turns out. A Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot will help to create an even heat, which will help cook the meat properly and prevents it from becoming tough.
Another reason could be that you didn’t add enough liquid to the pot, stewing beef needs to be cooked in enough liquid in order to become tender. If your goulash is too dry, the meat will be tough. To avoid this, add extra broth or water if the previous one has reduced and continue cooking until your meat is tender and juicy. You can also try to use a more tender cut of beef for your next recipe.
What kind of paprika do you use for goulash?
For the best goulash recipe, you should use Hungarian sweet paprika. This type of paprika is made from a specific type of pepper that is grown in Hungary. It has a deep red color and a mildly sweet flavor. But it is difficult to find it in some stores. If you cannot find Hungarian paprika, you can also use Spanish paprika or smoked paprika. The most important thing is to use a quality paprika that has a deep, rich flavor.
What can I add to bland goulash?
If you find yourself with a bland stew, there are a few things you can do to add some excitement. First, make sure you’re using fresh ingredients. If your vegetables or spices are starting to go bad, they will drag down the taste of your dish. Try adding some different spices such as cumin, red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic, and bay leaves to create the best goulash recipe ever. Another way to add flavor is to use beef broth instead of plain water when cooking the stew. This will give the dish a richer flavor.
If you want a bit of acidity, you could try adding a splash of red wine vinegar or lemon juice. You could also incorporate some vegetables like chopped onions, bell peppers, potatoes, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, or any other vegetables that you like.
Can you freeze goulash?
This stew freezes quite well and will retain its flavor and texture for several months. The best way to freeze it is in individual dishes so you can thaw and reheat only as much as you need at any given time. To freeze the stew, simply leave it to cool down completely, then portion it out into freezer-safe containers or bags (leaving some headspace at the top), label them with the date, and pop them in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the goulash in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
How long can I keep goulash in the fridge?
If you have leftovers you may be wondering how long you can keep it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 4-6 days in the fridge but if you’re planning on eating it after 6 days, it’s best to freeze it.
What is the best way to reheat goulash?
First, remove the goulash from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. This will help it heat evenly. Turn it into a saucepan and add a few splashes of water or broth. Cover and heat it on the stovetop over low heat stirring occasionally until it’s warmed through.
- Vegetarian goulash recipe: If you want to make a vegetarian version, you can replace the meat with mushrooms or hearty vegetables like potatoes or squash.
- Chicken goulash recipe: The best part about this dish is that it can also be made with chicken. This version is usually lighter than the traditional beef goulash, but it is still very hearty and filling Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover chicken you might have. You can use chicken breasts or thighs.
- Goulash with vegetable recipe: Vegetables like carrots, potatoes, celery, and peppers can be incorporated into this dish.
- Pork goulash recipe: You can still make this recipe with chunks of pork shoulder or tenderloin instead of beef. The exact ingredients used in this recipe can be used for the pork version
- Crockpot goulash recipe: It is very easy to make this soup in a crockpot. Simply brown the beef and onions, then add all of the other ingredients. Add stock and let it cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours until the meat is soft end tender, and you’ll have a delicious meal that’s ready to eat.
- Slow cooker: This recipe can be made in your crockpot for easy prep and cleanup. Just set everything in the pot before you engage in other tasks and then return back to a piping hot stew that’s ready to eat.
Best goulash recipe ever
- Heavy bottom pot
- Wooden spatula
- Measuring spoons
- 1 kg chuck roast or stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp butter or lard
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 tbsp Hungarian paprika, You can use any quality paprika if you can't find that
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 vine ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium-sized yellow pepper, diced
- 2 medium-sized carrots, sliced into rounds
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubeb
- 1 tsp caraway seeds, roughly ground
- 3 cups beef broth
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- The first thing you need to do is to brown the beef in a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot, add the meat, and brown on all sides for 5 minutes. This will add tons of flavor to the dish. Once it is all browned, remove into a dish and set aside. Make sure to cook the meat in batches and not overcrowd them. You can add more oil after every round.
- To the same pot, add the diced onions and cook for about 7 minutes until they're beautifully caramelized. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 1 minute until softened.
- Next, reduce heat and stir in paprika, crushed caraway seeds, diced tomatoes, and bell peppers. Cook them for 5 minutes while stirring constantly until fragrant. Hungarian paprika is the key ingredient that gives goulash its characteristic flavor, make sure not to skimp on that.
- Gradually stir in beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot, return the browned meat to the pot, add bay leaves, and season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. This is the best time to let the goulash simmer for a longer in the stew until the beef is nice and tender; this will take about an hour or so.
- Once the beef is cooked through, add in some potatoes and carrots (if desired) and let the stew cook for another 20-30 minutes. It is best to add potatoes during the last 30 minutes of cooking, so they don't crumble into the stew during the long cooking time.
- Taste the stew and add salt and pepper as needed; garnish with chopped parsley, and serve your beef goulash over egg noodles.
- You can add in other root vegetables such as turnips or parsnips. These vegetables will add a great deal of flavor to your dish, and they will also help to make it more filling.
- Consider adding other seasonings such as cumin, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper for heat.
- You can store any leftover goulash in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat it on the stovetop until warm throughout. If you’d like to keep it for longer, it can also be frozen.
- To freeze, transfer the cooled goulash into a freezer-safe container. Leave about an inch of space at the top of the container, cover it with a tight-fitting lid, and freeze. This stew will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This is the best Hungarian goulash recipe ever that anyone will love The flavors are so rich and complex, and it all comes together perfectly in a few minutes. I absolutely love this dish! Give it a try whenever you’re looking for a comforting winter dish.