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Traditional Hungarian Goulash

Traditional Hungarian Goulash

This traditional Hungarian goulash is a beef stew cooked with lots of onions, Hungarian paprika, tomatoes and sweet peppers. Very popular in Hungary but also in other parts of Eastern Europe, this stew can be served with bread, pasta, like spaetzle, boiled or roasted potatoes and pickles. It is a very hearty dish that works best for chilly days. It feeds a crowd, it is nutritious and very easy to make. It is a very comforting meal, perfect for your family. And no, contrary to popular belief here in the U.S., goulash is NOT made with ground beef or (heaven forbid) macaroni noodles! That is called American goulash and has nothing to do with the Hungarian one!

How to make the traditional Hungarian goulash:

Chop the meat into 1 inch pieces. In a big pot(you can use a Dutch oven), add vegetable oil or lard(the traditional way) and brown the meat.

Chop the onions and add them to the meat together with the garlic and the peppers.

Add the paprika, the ground caraway, bay leaves and salt.

Add the chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock or just water.

Cover the pot and let the stew simmer over low heat for 2 hours or until tender. Taste for seasoning.

That’s it! Serve it with a dollop of sour cream on top, for more authenticity and invite your friends to a bowl of this amazing Hungarian goulash!


Traditional Hungarian Goulash
Serves: 6-8 people
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat(or pork) cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4-5 medium onions diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons lard or 6 tablespoons vegetable oil (sunflower)
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper (or bell pepper, wax or banana pepper) cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup sweet Hungarian paprika powder(or more according to your taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 big fresh tomato chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: sour cream for serving
  1. In a large pot, brown the meat in vegetable oil or pork lard over low heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and pepper and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the Hungarian paprika, ground caraway, bay leaves and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock or water.
  5. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours or until tender.
  6. Re-taste for seasoning.
  7. Serve with potatoes, pasta or bread dipped in the sauce.
  8. Optional: Serve it with a dollop of sour cream on top.

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