Hungarian Beef Stew (Goulash)
A hearty beef stew, this Hungarian-style goulash is a prime example of how a few humble ingredients can create a flavourful and warming winter meal.
Goulash, pronounced as GOO-lash, is a stew made of meat and vegetables that is native to Hungary and other regions of Central Europe. I was first introduced to goulash when we visited Budapest several years ago. I’ve mentioned it before, but my favourite part of travelling is always to try the traditional local foods. I do my best to research the country’s food culture and traditional dishes and research restaurants before we travel. Be it Goulash in Hungary (winner), haggis in Scotland (winner) or pickled herring in Iceland (not a winner), I will try anything once for the experience.
Although very similar to a traditional British beef stew, the distinguishing factor of a goulash is the inclusion of paprika and caraway seeds in the dish. It gives the stew it’s vibrant red colour and a slight sweetness to the savoury dish. Depending on the region, some goulash recipes are served with a side of noodles or potatoes, however I opted to include potatoes right into the dish. This recipe also freezes very well, making it a great meal prep idea for weeks to come.
Hungarian Beef Stew (Goulash)
This Hungarian Beef Stew is a hearty cold-weather dish made with beef and vegetables, with the sweet and pungent aromas of paprika.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- 1.5lbs beef chuck, 1″ cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, cubed
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups beef stock
- 4 russet potatoes, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a large Dutch oven or oven-proof pot on medium-high, heat the butter or olive oil.
- Season the beef with a generous pinch of salt and pepper on all sides.
- In batches, transfer the beef to the pot and brown the meat on all sides. Once browned, remove from the pot, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium, add onion, carrots and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. If dry, add another small knob of butter or drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Add paprika, caraway seeds and season with another pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add a small splash of stock to help deglaze the pot, and use the back of a spoon or spatula to help scrape up anything stuck to the bottom.
- Return beef to the pot and stir well to combine with the onion mixture. Add flour and stir well to coat the beef. Add tomato paste and stir again.
- Cover beef mixture with broth, add bay leaves and stir well to combine. Add in cubed potatoes and bring to a gentle boil.
- Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours until beef is tender.
- Remove from the oven, remove bay leaves, and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. This will help to thicken the sauce and bring the flavours together.
- Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
For the best results, remove your beef from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to help bring it to room temperature.