Cold Weather Comfort Food: Hungarian Goulash

Andy Anderson !


One thing about Hungarian Goulash is that every town you visit has their own specific version of this comfy dish.

The binding factor of a good goulash is the inclusion of good sweet paprika, and meat so tender that you can cut it with a sharp look.

Oh, and one other thing: In Hungary, this is not referred to as a stew; it’s a soup, and it is traditionally eaten with a spoon.

This is my version of a good goulash that includes all the best of the recipes that I have tasted, and a few other personal touches.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

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★★★★★ 3 votes
30 Min
3 Hr



1/2 c
flour, all purpose variety
3 lb
chuck roast, boneless, and cut into cubes (1/2 inch/1.2cm)
8 Tbsp
grapeseed oil, for sautéing
2 medium
yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp
paprika, hungarian sweet variety
1 tsp
ground cumin
1 tsp
caraway seeds
2 clove
garlic, minced
3 Tbsp
apple cider vinegar
8 oz
tomato sauce
salt, kosher variety, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
1 pinch
cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 c
beef stock, not broth
1 lb
small red potatoes, quartered
3 medium
carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds, about 1 cup


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2Gather your ingredients.

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3Add the flour to a small bowl, and season with a bit of salt and pepper.

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4Take 1/3 of the beef, spread it out, and dust with the flour.

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5Chef’s Tip: I dust by putting the flour into a fine-mesh strainer.

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6Chef's Note: In Hungary you will typically be served this as a soup, in a bowl, with a spoon. I wanted mine to have a bit more texture, so I added the flour. It's still a soup, but just with a bit more body.

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7Add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to a large cast iron pot, or Dutch oven, and set the heat to medium high.

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8Add 1/3 of the flour-dusted beef to the pot

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9Brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. It does not have to be cooked through... just slightly browned.

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10Remove from the pot and reserve.

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11Chef's Note: Repeat for batches 2 and 3 of the beef (dust, oil, sauté).

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12Remove and reserve with the other beef.

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13Add the final 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the pot, and lower the heat to medium.

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14Add the onions.

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15Cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

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16Chef's Note: As the onions begin to release their moisture, use a wooden spoon to scrape up all those tasty fonds that developed on the bottom of the pan while cooking the beef.

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17Add the garlic and caraway seeds, and stir until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.

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18Add the paprika to the onions.

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19Stir, for an additional minute, and no more.

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20Chef’s Tip: Never allow the paprika to scorch or burn… It will taste bitter if you do.

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21Chef's Note: To make this work, you need to get Hungarian Sweet Paprika... DO NOT use smoked paprika... it's too strong and will throw the dish way off.

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22Add the apple cider vinegar, and the tomato sauce to the pot.

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23Stir for an additional 2 minutes.

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24Add the meat, and any juices back into the pot.

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25Stir to combine.

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26Add the cayenne pepper, and cumin, and then stir to combine.

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27Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 250f (120c).

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28Add the beef stock, and bring up to a simmer. Allow the liquid to simmer for 5 minutes.

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29While the liquid is simmering, season and taste with some salt, and pepper.

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30Chef’s Note: If you want it a bit hotter, add more cayenne.

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31Place the covered pot in the oven, for 90 minutes, or until the meat is tender.

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32Add the carrots, and potatoes, and then place back into the oven for an additional hour.

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34Serve it in a nice bowl with some good crusty bread. Enjoy.

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35Chef's Note: Traditional Hungarian Goulash is not served with egg noodles, or sour cream... That's the Americanized version.

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36Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef, Other Soups
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Hungarian
Dietary Needs: Dairy Free, Low Sodium, Soy Free
Other Tag: Heirloom