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Hungarian Goulash
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Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash is proper, hearty comfort food. Tender, juicy chunks of beef and a rich, thick sauce. Warm, comforting family meal.

Hungarian Goulash
Both my (Maja's) parents and Jernej's parents are great cooks, and we only went out to lunch a few times a year, on special occasions. Eating a meal together at home was about connecting and talking about what happened in our lives that day. That feeling of enjoying a relaxed meal together stayed with us, so we always put our phones away and enjoy the meal together. Growing up, our meals were inspired by a combination of Slovenian, Austrian, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, and French cuisine. As you can imagine, the food was rich, incredibly full of flavor, and well, proper comfort food. This Hungarian goulash could be called Slovenian Goulash since it is cooked similarly to what our parents had prepared at home. Incredibly full of flavor, with a good amount of paprika, cooked for a long time, with insanely tender chunks of meat.


How do you make Hungarian goulash?

What kind of meat is in goulash? In Hungarian goulash, we always use beef. Use shank or chuck. Shank is our preferred option because it has a lot of fat, which translates into the juicy, tender meat. Not to worry, the meat won’t be fatty and unpleasant. Make sure to remove all the more prominent veins and large chunks of fat from the meat. 

Onion - Onion needs to be caramelized and cooked for a more extended time to release all the flavor (check below).

Tomato paste - Use a small amount of tomato paste (or tomato sauce). Adds a nice, sweet aroma to the dish.

Paprika - A vital ingredient in every goulash. If you are visiting Budapest or other Hungarian cities, make sure to buy some, it’s the best. We use a combination of sweet paprika powder and hot paprika powder to enrich the dish.

Red wine - You can leave the wine out, wine is also the only nontraditional ingredient in this goulash, but we like to add a small amount. If possible, use Madeira wine. It’s sweet and delicious. The alcohol will evaporate while cooking.

Hungarian Goulash


Hungarian Goulash


What exactly is goulash?

Goulash is a traditional beef dish from Hungary (known as gulyás). It's very popular in other countries like Slovenia (golaž), Croatia, Austria, and Germany. It's a delicious slow-cooked meal, beef stew enriched with caramelized onions and paprika powder. It goes back to the 9th century, so you can be sure that it was improved to perfection. There are many variations, some with sour cream or potatoes, but we like to keep it plain and straightforward and then serve it with a tasty side.

How do you make caramelized onions?

For goulash, it’s essential to cook the onions for about 20 - 30 minutes. Not to worry, they won’t get burnt. Just keep an eye on them at all times, making sure the pot is set over low heat. Stir occasionally until the onions are soft and golden brown. They will be such a fantastic addition to your goulash.

Hungarian Goulash


Hungarian Goulash


How do you make good goulash?

The meat in the goulash should always be juicy and incredibly tender. It’s ideal for cooking the Hungarian goulash for about 3 hours over low heat. The ingredients will get combined and become that rich beef stew we all adore. The sauce will be rich, thick, and bursting with paprika.

A general rule for a good goulash is to use a 1:1 ratio for beef and onions. That means if we are using 1.1 lbs of beef, we need to use 1.1 lbs of onions in the recipe. 

Can you freeze goulash?

Yes. Store the goulash in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to two months.

Goveji golaž

What to serve with Hungarian Goulash?

Serve your goulash with:



Lets get cooking!

  • serves
  • preparation:
  • cook:
  • total time:


  • beef

    Clean the fat and veins from the meat—Pat dry using paper towels. Cut the meat into 2 cm (1-inch) chunks. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and one tbsp of olive oil.

  • onions and garlic

    Peel and dice onions and garlic. Place a large cast-iron casserole over low heat, add 3 tbsp of olive oil and onions. Cook for about 20 - 30 minutes, or until the onions are lovely, soft, and translucent. Stir occasionally. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.

  • cook the goulash

    Add the meat, increase the heat and cook for 5 minutes while constantly stirring until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown. Reduce the heat, add the tomato paste and sweet paprika powder, hot paprika powder. Stir to combine and cook for two more minutes. Add the red wine, cook for an additional 2 - 3 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate. Add the bay leaves and water. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes - 3 hours. Stir well every half an hour. If necessary, add more water.

  • Serve

    Divide the Hungarian Goulash between four plates and serve. Optionally serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, tagliatelle pasta. A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped parsley also make a lovely addition.


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