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.


★★★★★ 4 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

How to Make Cold Weather Comfort Food: Hungarian Goulash


  2. Gather your ingredients.
  3. Add the flour to a small bowl, and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. Take 1/3 of the beef, spread it out, and dust with the flour.
  5. Chef’s Tip: I dust by putting the flour into a fine-mesh strainer.
  6. Chef'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.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to a large cast iron pot, or Dutch oven, and set the heat to medium high.
  8. Add 1/3 of the flour-dusted beef to the pot
  9. Brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. It does not have to be cooked through... just slightly browned.
  10. Remove from the pot and reserve.
  11. Chef's Note: Repeat for batches 2 and 3 of the beef (dust, oil, sauté).
  12. Remove and reserve with the other beef.
  13. Add the final 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the pot, and lower the heat to medium.
  14. Add the onions.
  15. Cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  16. Chef'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.
  17. Add the garlic and caraway seeds, and stir until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
  18. Add the paprika to the onions.
  19. Stir, for an additional minute, and no more.
  20. Chef’s Tip: Never allow the paprika to scorch or burn… It will taste bitter if you do.
  21. Chef'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.
  22. Add the apple cider vinegar, and the tomato sauce to the pot.
  23. Stir for an additional 2 minutes.
  24. Add the meat, and any juices back into the pot.
  25. Stir to combine.
  26. Add the cayenne pepper, and cumin, and then stir to combine.
  27. Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 250f (120c).
  28. Add the beef stock, and bring up to a simmer. Allow the liquid to simmer for 5 minutes.
  29. While the liquid is simmering, season and taste with some salt, and pepper.
  30. Chef’s Note: If you want it a bit hotter, add more cayenne.
  31. Place the covered pot in the oven, for 90 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
  32. Add the carrots, and potatoes, and then place back into the oven for an additional hour.
  34. Serve it in a nice bowl with some good crusty bread. Enjoy.
  35. Chef's Note: Traditional Hungarian Goulash is not served with egg noodles, or sour cream... That's the Americanized version.
  36. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Cold Weather Comfort Food: Hungarian Goulash

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

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