An Email A Day Keeps the Boring Away.Sign Up For A Daily Dose of Jernej Kitchen!
Hungarian Goulash
The best

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
Hungarian Goulash is proper hearty, comfort food. Tender juicy beef, caramelized onions, and sweet + spicy paprika flavors. Perfect for weeknight or weekend lunch/dinner. We recently posted a survey on Instagram stories asking our fellow what they / what you want to see more of on Instagram. There were so many answers, but the answers that kept repeating were "your family recipes" or "savory lunch and dinner ideas". Hearing that made us so happy because we would really like to share more comfort food ideas on Instagram and here on the blog as well. I feel like I should write something more about how our family meals used to look juicy, tender meat. Both my 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 calm meal together stayed with us and so we continue to always put our phones away and enjoy the meal that was prepared with love and care. Our meals were a combination of Slovenian, Austrian, Croatian, Hungarian and also Italian and French cuisine, so as you can imagine the food was rich, incredibly full of flavor and well, proper comfort food. This Hungarian goulash could very well be called Slovenian Goulash since it is cooked similarly as our parents had prepared it 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 juicy, tender meat. Not to worry, the meat won’t be fatty and unpleasant. Make sure to remove all the larger veins and large chunks of fat from the meat.

Onion - Onion needs to be caramelized and cooked for a longer period of 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 very important 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 of it. If possible, use Madeira wine. It’s sweet and incredibly tasty. 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 too.  It's a very tasty slow cooked meal, beef stew, that is 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 simple and then serve it with a nice, tasty side.

How do you make caramelized onions?

For goulash, it’s important 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 an amazing addition in your goulash.

Hungarian Goulash


Hungarian Goulash


How do you make good goulash?

The meat in the goulash should always be nice, juicy and incredibly tender. It’s ideal to cook 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 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 as well. 

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 the paper towels. Cut the meat on 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 nice, 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 stirring constantly 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 2 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.


Thank you for visiting.