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    Beef Goulash

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    Beef Goulash

    More of a soup than a stew, beef goulash has to be Hungary's most renowned dish. Recipes for it vary considerably – some are very simple, some are padded out with vegetables. This one is based on the stew I ate in the paprika fields of Kalosca.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 155 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 55 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 55 minutes

    Serves: 6


    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
    • ½ celeriac, peeled and cut into small dice
    • 2 tbsp lard
    • 1kg stewing beef, cut into 2.5cm cubes
    • 2 tbsp paprika
    • 6 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp caraway seeds
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
    • 225g tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped
    • 2 tbsp tomato purée
    • 2 dried red chillies


    1. Sweat the onion, carrot and celeriac in the lard in a large pan over a low heat for 10 minutes. Now add the beef and fry for a further 5 minutes or so. Stir in the paprika, parsley, caraway seeds, bay leaves, crushed garlic, green peppers, tomatoes, tomato purée, chillis if using, salt and pepper and enough water (about 1½ litres) to cover the whole lot generously (remember this is more of a soup than a stew). Bring up to the boil and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary. Now add the potatoes and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Stir in the broken spaghetti and simmer for a final 8–10 minutes until tender. Discard bay leaves. Serve in deep bowls.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The savoury, slow-cooked beef and the tangy sweetness of the carrots and tomatoes work a treat with a silky, ripe, southern French red wine.


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