Hungarian goulash

    2 hours 15 min

    This classic dish is warming and delicious. My mum made this when we were children, and we loved it. Can be made with cheaper cuts of beef, and comes out very tender. If it gets too thick, add a little water while it's cooking. Garnish with crème fraîche or soured cream.

    535 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 3 onions, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
    • 1 dessertspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1.25kg (3 lb) beef stewing meat, diced
    • 150g (5 oz) tomato purée
    • 350ml (12 fl oz) water
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon salt

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr15min 

    1. Heat oil in a large pot or casserole over medium heat. Cook onions in oil until soft, stirring frequently. Remove onions and set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine paprika, salt and pepper. Coat beef in spice mixture, and cook in onion pot until brown on all sides. Return the onions to the pot, and pour in tomato purée, water, garlic and the remaining salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender.

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    Reviews in English (314)


    Something else. Good basic recipe that can be adjusted to taste. Hungarian goulash should be a flexible recipe, and you should taste it and adjust it when it is almost cooked, to suit your own taste. I am of Hungarian origin and these changes come close to my gran’s goulash: there is no need to separate the onions from the meat, stir fry the onion, then add the meat, stir fry again, the add all other ingredients to the same pot except the water, stir fry again, then add the water last. Feel free to vary this according to what you have at home. Tomato instead of tomato puree, Or even no tomato! I add 2-3 tbsp more paprika (the sweet kind, not the hot kind) half as much tomato puree, and may add some chopped green pepper (no more than 1), a bit more garlic, I always add 2-3 tbsp soy sauce, and even a bit of spicy chilli enhance the beefy flavour.... the key is to let the 'gravy' form by stewing it until the juices thicken without any flour added; the cheaper cuts of beef are better for this, as they are more flavourful and provide more 'gravy'.( I use boneless short rib roast that I cube, so that I know the consistency will be uniform) if at the end the stew seems watery, then boil it down until you like the consistency, if it seems dry, then add some water.  -  15 Sep 2008


    Something else. Try adding red wine. I had little left in bottle from night before so in it went. Tasted great.  -  12 Mar 2009


    Too salty and needs the extra Paprika, Garlic & Red Wine mentioned in the tweaks to be a real Hungarian Goulash, in my opinion...  -  03 May 2011