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.

★★★★★ 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

How to Make Cold Weather Comfort Food: Hungarian Goulash


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