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Hungarian Goulash Recipe

Updated on January 20, 2021

How To Make Hungarian Goulash

Have you ever been interested in making authentic Hungarian goulash? This recipe is for Hungarian goulash made the old fashioned Hungarian way. It is easy to make and sure to please you family. This dish can be served for dinner or a hearty lunch. Serve it as an entree or or whole meal.



Typical Goulash Ingredients

Goulash is a European soup or stew made with meat and vegetables (especially onions) and is seasoned with paprika and other spices. Goulash can be prepared from beef, veal, chicken, pork, or lamb. Meat is cut into chunks, seasoned with salt, and then browned with sliced onions in a pot with oil or lard. Paprika is added, along with water or stock, and the goulash is left to simmer. After cooking a while, garlic, whole or ground caraway seeds, or soup vegetables like carrot, parsnip, peppers (green or bell pepper), celery and a small tomato may be added. Diced potatoes may be added, since they provide starch as they cook, which makes the goulash thicker and smoother. A small amount of white wine or wine vinegar may also be added near the end of cooking to round the taste. Goulash may be served with small egg noodles. Other herbs and spices could also be added, especially hot chili peppers, bay leaf and thyme.

Hungarian Goulash
Hungarian Goulash


  • 2 pounds beef chuck (cut in med size cubes) 1 large yellow onion chopped About 2 cups Beef stock (enough to cover beef - can use low sodium) 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup Crisco (must use solid shortening) 1 tablespoon crushed clove garlic 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional) 1 teaspoon Hungarian Sweet Paprika (can add 1/2 tsp more - if you want) or 1 teaspoon Hungarian Hot Paprika (can add 1/2 tsp more - if you want) Cooked Wide buttered noodles Sour Cream for garnish (if you want)


  1. Put the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a plastic bag, and shake well to mix.
  2. Add the meat and shake to coat (you will have to do this in batches).
  3. Set meat aside on a plate.
  4. Heat a large Dutch oven, or heavy skillet, over medium high heat, and add the Crisco shortening - heat well.
  5. Add chopped onions, and fry until yellow. (not brown)
  6. Add the beef and brown all sides.
  7. Add chopped garlic
  8. Add sliced mushrooms
  9. Add other seasonings, and bay leaf
  10. Add beef broth
  11. Gently scrape the bottom of skillet for bits
  12. Cover, and simmer until tender - about 1-1/2 hrs.
  13. Keep covered, check occasionally, and stir gently.
  14. If it is not thickening like a gravy,then dust with a little flour, stir until brown. Or if too thick, add a little more water.
  15. Simmer for 10-15 minutes longer.
  16. Serve over hot buttered noodles, touch of sour cream.
  17. Also, if you want: you can add one green pepper cut into strips, and 1 can 16 oz. fully drained, whole tomatoes during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
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A Bit of Hungarian Goulash History

This thick, hearty dish was (and still is) a very popular dish among herdsmen in Hungary. They made it in a cast-iron kettle hung above open fire, out in the fields.

Herdsmen have the best ingredients at hand (most importantly prime quality beef) and the preparation method fitted very well to their work and lifestyle: they don’t have to stand by the side of the kettle and stir its content all the time, still they have a tasty and hot meal to fill up their stomach.

This peasant dish only got on the noblemen’s and town folk’s table towards the end of the 19th century and was prompted by the raising national awarness throughout the country of this dish.

In the second half of the 1800s it became very important to protect treasures of Hungarian culture, the language and the gastronomical delights as part of the movement to emphasize Hungary’s national identity and independence from the Austrian Habsburg dynasty’s rule.

Restaurants started to put goulash on their menus too and and by the second half of the 20th century the soup/stew became the number one dish of Hungary that every tourist coming to the country must try.

Bogrács Hungarian Cooking Pot
Bogrács Hungarian Cooking Pot

Traditional Hungarian Cooking Pot

The traditional hungarian cooking pot is called A bogrács which is a heavy pot used to cook outdoors, usually over a wood fire. It has a distinctive round shape and is made with either stainless steel, porcelain, cast iron, or cooper with some pots containing an enameled coating. Bogrács come in a variety of sizes from small to very large. In English, the term bogrács is translated as "kettle", "cauldron" or "stewpot".

Hungarian Plate
Hungarian Plate

Traditional Hungarian Dinnerware

This Hungarian plate shows a traditional floral pattern. Hungarian fine china is extremely collectible and beautiful. Herend is the name of a Hungarian company that produces fine porcelain. The Herend ceramics factory was founded in the early 1800s in the town of Herend and began producing fine china tableware and decorative pieces in the mid-1800s. One of its most famous coups was producing perfect replica replacement pieces for a Meissen china service owned by Count and Countess Esterhazy in 1844. Much of Herend’s early production imitated work produced by the Meissen and Sevres factories elsewhere in Europe.

Herend survived wars and changing economies, ownership, tastes and governments and continues production today. During the communist era, sales of Herend china to the West were an important source of hard currency for Hungary. The company became a government enterprise in 1948 and returned to private ownership in 1992. Today Herend employees own about 75% of the company's stock.

Herend fine porcelain is hand painted by highly-skilled craftsmen. This results in subtle variations in the decoration and a limited supply of china. Each piece is almost unique. And since supply of the china is limited by the number of pieces these artisans can produce by hand, there can be a wait of many months for the pieces a customer has ordered. Herend claims that no pattern is ever truly discontinued and that it stands ready to produce any of its patterns or pieces by special order.


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