Hungarian Goulash is a beef stew originating during the middle ages in Central Europe. This stew is named after the cattle herdsman (cowboys) of Hungary called ‘gulyás’. I can’t verify this, I’m only speculating, but I’m guessing this spicy beef recipe was a big influence in the American cowboy’s spicy chuckwagon beef chili. What cowboy doesn’t like spicy beef stew?
The Hungarian goulash is flavored with paprika, caraway seeds, onions, and plenty of garlic. I keep the seasonings of this goulash recipe very true to the traditional recipes. However, I do like to add a few stew ingredients that may or may not be authentic to goulash. That being carrots, mushrooms, and occasionally potatoes, depending on the type of noodles I serve with it.
Funnily enough, there is only one school lunch I remember from my childhood, and it is Hungarian Goulash. I’m positive the lunch-ladies version of Hungarian Goulash at my elementary school was in no way, shape, or form authentic. It was basically like a hamburger helper with goulash seasonings, but it was so good that I still remember it today.
Hungarian Goulash Ingredients
- Beef and Beef Stock: Yeah, beef! This is a beef stew after all. Chuck roast is what I typically use for stew meat. It is well-marbled and is perfect for braising. I prefer to buy the roast whole and dice it myself so I can see exactly what it looks like, and I can dice the beef the size I want.
- Carrots, Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms: The base of the stew and a traditional mirepoix, plus tomatoes. I can’t say all of these ingredients are 100% traditional Hungarian Goulash, but they do add tremendous flavor and the veggies help round out the meal.
- Seasonings: Paprika, Caraways Seeds, Oregano, Salt, and Black Pepper: The paprika and caraways seeds are very traditional in this stew and are what makes the flavor of Hungarian Goulash so fantastic. The color of the paprika gives the goulash its beautiful, mouthwatering look.
- All-Purpose Flour: A little flour helps thicken the sauce
- Vinegar: Once you finish braising the goulash, I like to add a splash of white wine vinegar. Just that little whisper of acid adds a great depth of flavor and character to the goulash. I have also used malt, Balsamic, and red wine kinds of vinegar with great success.
Here is my recipe for Hungarian Goulash
- 2 1/2 Pounds Chuck Roast 1 to 2-inch dice
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Cup Onions Diced
- 3 Cups Carrots 1-inch dice
- 16 Ounces Cremini Mushrooms Sliced
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic Crushed and chopped
- 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 16 Ounce Can Low-Sodium Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Quart Low-Sodium Beef Broth
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 3 Tablespoons Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 2 Teaspoons Caraway seeds Whole
- 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar Or Balsamic, Malt, or Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Pound Egg Noodles
- 1 Bunch Flat-leaf Parsley
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed, oven-proof pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 3-batches until well browned. Once all browned, return to the pot and add salt, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic. Cover and sweat for 5-minutes until the mushrooms release their liquid. Uncover and continue to saute for 10-15 minutes.
- Add all of the remaining seasonings along with the all-purpose flour and stir to completely cover all ingredients in the flour. Add the tomatoes and beef broth and bring to a boil.
- Cover, and place the pot in a preheated oven. Braise the stew for approximately 2 1/2 hours until the beef is tender and the veggies are cooked.
- Cook the noodles according to the manufacturer's instructions
- Serve the Hungarian goulash hot, over hot noodles, garnish with chopped parsley.