Hungarian beef goulash

Hungarian beef goulash

A goulash is a rich wholesome stew – consisting of slow cooked meat in a thick tomato sauce, which is often creamy and spiced with paprika. Proper stick-to-the-ribs comfort food. Goulash traditionally comes from Hungary but many other european countries have their own variations. I was on holiday in Prague a couple of months ago and their goulash was absolutely amazing but much creamier than the recipe I’m giving you today.

There are a lot of strong flavours going on in this goulash but they melt together wonderfully giving a well-rounded and surprisingly mellow dish. This recipe makes quite a big pot of stew but I’m ashamed to say, in our household of two, it lasted less than 24 hours. Good news for the goulash and bad news for our ever-increasing waste lines! If you have more willpower than us, this dish freezes beautifully.


1.5kg stewing beef, cut into large chunks
2 tbsps olive oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
2 large red peppers, cut into thin strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp smoked mild paprika
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250ml sour cream, to serve
Chopped parsley, to serve


Heat half of the olive oil in a large cooking pot. Once heated, add the cut up beef, and start to brown it on all sides in batches – this should take around 15 minutes to brown all the meat. Remove the browned meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil to the cooking pot and add the onions, cooking for 5-6 minutes until they start to soften and caramelise. Now add in the garlic, paprika and peppers, cooking for another couple of minutes. Add the beef back to the pot, sprinkle over the flour and stir well to coat.

Season well with salt and pepper before adding the tinned tomatoes. Stir everything together before adding a tight-fitting lid and transferring to the oven to cook at 160˚C for 2 and a half hours.

After 2 and a half hours, remove from the oven and check that the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. JUst before serving, stir in the sour cream and some chopped fresh parsley.

Serves 6

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