Hungarian Goulash is a rich, delicious one-pot meal that comes straight out of 9th century Hungary. It has withstood the test of time and evolved over the years from the dried meat in a bag that shepherds used to carry. Goulash is one of the national dishes of Hungary and for good reason.
This hearty aromatic Hungarian Goulash stew is full of tender meat, nutritious veggies and plenty of complex spices swimming in a full-flavored broth. It’s a satisfying one-bowl wonder that ushers in the cool weather of fall and warms tummies on cold winter days.
Come see what I mean!
I love the way this awesome Hungarian goulash recipe warms people from the inside out while filling empty tummies. It’s a wholesome nutritious meal in a bowl that makes a fantastic lunch or dinner all by itself. Here are even more reasons to love it!
- Nutritious one-bowl wonder
- Plenty of wholesome veggies
- Melt in your mouth tender meat
- Hearty and satisfying
- Layers of delicious flavor
Making the Hungarian Goulash recipe is pretty straightforward, and a few tricks of the trade can help ensure the yummiest favor possible!
The process for making beef goulash is pretty important. You’ll want to ensure plenty of room between pieces of meat as you’re browning. Overcrowding your pan prevents air circulation for even cooking and promotes burning.
You’ll also need to resist the urge to throw the onions in raw. Sautéing them before adding them to recipes brings out their sweeter mellow flavors. For this Hungarian goulash recipe, it also helps build your fond because you’re sautéing in the same pot where you browned your beef! – Layers of flavor!
That little bit of cooking time after adding the spices (1-2 minutes) is essential. Warming up spices, or toasting them, really helps bring their deep complex flavors and aromatic fragrances.
Beef chuck is the best cut of meat for this recipe and here’s why. It comes from the front shoulder which is a working muscle with plenty of collagen-rich tissue. As the collagen cooks, it melts deep into the meat instead of running off into the stew. This helps make the meat moist and tender while giving it lots of bold flavor.
Using fresh veggies is best for this Hungarian goulash recipe. Others will work but the flavor and consistency just will not be the same.
You’ll also want to use both types of paprika. Sweet paprika has more of a slightly fruity type of undertone while hot paprika is – well – hot. The main difference is in the type of red peppers they are made from.
I promise your Hungarian goulash recipe will not taste spicy hot. The hot paprika balances the sweetness from the wine reduction.
This Hungarian goulash recipe is great for storing. All those rich complex flavors continue to develop and seep deep into the ingredients. Simply keep it in an airtight container with a secure lid in the refrigerator. If your fridge looks anything like mine and you need the room, you can also keep your Hungarian goulash in a large gallon Ziploc.
Can You Freeze This?
That’s affirmative! You can actually freeze this Hungarian goulash recipe. Sometimes, I’ll make a batch and freeze half of it for later. Simply let it cool to the appropriate temperature and toss it into an icy slumber in a freezer safe container or sealed freezer bag.
Sometimes I’ll set a freezer bag into a disposable loaf pan and pour my prepared Hungarian goulash recipe in it. Freezer Tetris is so much easier that way!
Make Ahead Tips
This Hungarian goulash recipe produces the most flavorful soup/stew hybrid to come out of your kitchen! Making it ahead is awesome because it tastes even better the next day after all the yummy flavors have mingled and gotten really acquainted.
Making this hearty recipe throw together simple is easy if you do your chopping and cutting ahead of time. Just be sure to store the meat and veggies separately in the fridge. I also like to refrigerate my onions by themselves since they go into the goulash ahead of the other veggies.
For ultra-convenience, go ahead and brown your meat ahead of time, too. Just be sure to let it rest in the container you will store it in, so you don’t lose any of those full-bodied juices! – Remember, layers of flavor!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Your Hungarian goulash recipe will stay good in the fridge for up to 4 days when stored properly. Besides the airtight container, your Hungarian goulash should be kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The FDA also suggests reserving the 2-hour serving rule for food safety.
This Hungarian goulash recipe can be made into so many popular goulash soup flavors with only subtle changes. Try omitting the potatoes or substituting kidney beans instead. Add sauerkraut or tiny egg noodles for different flavors and textures.
You can also switch out the meat and omit the flour in this recipe. Try using pork or lamb but stick with a well-exercised cut. The most popular options are shoulder, shank or shin.
Can I Cook This In A Crock Pot?
Making Hungarian goulash slow cooker style is a great way to ensure that your tasty crockpot goulash is ready when you are. All those rich aromas fill the kitchen drawing in any empty tummy within smelling distance to partake in the deep bold layers of succulent flavor.
Can I Use Other Types of Meat?
Using different meat is a great way to tweak your Hungarian goulash recipe to your personal taste. You can make it with pork, lamb, veal or beef using the right cuts of meat. You can even make hamburger goulash if the mood strikes you.
How Do Other Countries Make Their Goulash?
A traditional Hungarian goulash recipe differs from others, such as American Goulash which contains copious amounts of elbow macaroni, aromatics, and ground beef. Conversely, Hungarian goulash Jamie Oliver style is made with pork and multiple varieties of peppers for a smoky, sweeter flavor. German goulash version uses lesser veggies.
Can I Cook This In An Instant Pot?
Making instant pot goulash drastically reduces the cooking time but the recipe must be adapted. This Hungarian goulash recipe is designed to be made stovetop, so adjustments are necessary for other cooking methods, but it is definitely possible.
What Other Veggies Can I Add To This Recipe?
Adding different veggies to this Hungarian goulash recipe is one way to make it your own. Try adding mushrooms, celery or even green beans. It’s up to you. You can also try adding kidney beans, black beans or cabbage. If it’s wholesome and your family loves it, throw it in!
- 3 pounds beef chuck trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil divided
- 2 medium yellow onions roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika
- 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 cup red wine
- 5 cups beef broth
- 1 heaping tablespoon beef flavor Better than Bouillon
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 red pepper cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- In a large mixing bowl, add the beef and toss with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add beef in batches, allowing pan bottom to be visible between pieces, and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove meat to a plate; set aside. Repeat with the remaining beef and add more oil if needed. Remove and discard all but 2 tablespoons oil from pot.
- Add the onions, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt to pot and saute over medium-low heat until translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Adjust heat as need so they do not brown.
- Sprinkle flour, both paprikas, and caraway seeds over the onion mixture and continue to cook 1-2 minutes, or until the spices become fragrant.
- Add wine and continue to cook until reduced by half. Add beef broth and Better than Bouillon, and the browned beef; bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
- Stir potatoes, carrot, and red pepper into the soup. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. If broth becomes too thick add more beef broth or water to thin. (I like my broth to be like gravy) Adjust seasoning and serve!
This hearty Hungarian goulash recipe is one of my all-time favorite one-bowl meals. It’s got so many tasty layers of delicious flavor that do the proverbial happy dance in your mouth, your eyes virtually roll back into your head with every tasty bite.
Hungarian goulash is even fantastic for meal prep and ready-made meals. When you want rich bold flavor that is almost too good to be true, reach for this Hungarian goulash recipe!