This authentic Hungarian Beef Goulash is an old family favorite. It’s a comforting, traditional dish that’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
I once heard another food blogger say that growing up the dish she hated most was goulash.
Clearly, she did not grow up eating the same Hungarian Beef Goulash I did.
My mother made this goulash recipe often when I was a kid. She got the recipe from Chef Louis Szathmary’s book, The Chef’s Secret Cookbook. Chef Szathmary’s book is filled with traditional, absolutely delicious Hungarian dishes like goulash, chicken and veal paprikash, as well as some decadent desserts.
What is Hungarian Goulash?
Goulash is one of the national dishes of Hungary. Its origin traces back to the 9th century to stews eaten by Hungarian shepherds.
It’s a stew made of beef or veal, onions and sometimes other vegetables and seasoned with paprika.
It’s a common, humble meal, but it’s high on flavor. The beef stew meat is cooked low and slow until it’s incredibly tender, while the gravy has a beef broth base, a punch of rich Hungarian paprika flavor and is thickened with sour cream just before serving.
I love my goulash served over homemade spaetzle, but you can also serve over egg noodles or cavatelli.
If you haven’t been a goulash fan in the past, I know this recipe will win you over! Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Hungarian Beef Goulash Recipe:
Chef Szathmary’s recipe calls to brown the beef cubes in lard. My mother never used lard. She would always make our goulash on a Sunday, so she would save the bacon fat from cooking the bacon from our Sunday breakfast and brown the meat in the leftover bacon fat.
I usually serve my goulash with a side of fresh rye bread to sop up any extra gravy.
- 2 lbs. beef chuck meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup lard, or bacon fat
- 1 lb. (about 2 1/2-3 cups) onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 medium green pepper, cut into thin strips
- 2 cups sour cream
- dried parsley, for sprinkling, if desired
- Season meat with salt and pepper.
- In a large saucepan, heat the lard or bacon fat to the smoking point over medium-high heat. Add the meat carefully. Brown the meat on all sides. Add the onions and cook until softened. Reduce the heat to low and add the the paprika and flour and cook, stirring often for two minutes.
- Add the beef broth and tomato paste. Stir until well combined. Simmer, covered over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
- Add green pepper and sour cream and continue to cook until heated through, about 15 more minutes. Serve over spaetzle, egg noodles or cavatelli. Sprinkle with dried parsley, if desired.
Adapted from The Chef’s Secret Cookbook