Grandma’s Homemade Hungarian Beef Goulash

IMG_2695Goulash, or Gulyásleves, is a traditional Hungarian stew of meat and vegetables which is seasoned with Hungarian Paprika.

While this dish originates from Hungary, it is probably the most recognisable dish to my English friends. When I tell them about it, they say: “I’ve heard of it”, which is unusual, I usually receive a blank face when I speak about Hungarian food.

Goulash is probably the meal that my Nan cooks the most for me (I think it’s her personal favourite) but it is also the meal that takes the longest. I wish I knew this before I popped to Morrisons at 7pm on a Wednesday night when my flat were about to go on a night out… It took me three hours and by the time the Goulash was ready, I had very drunk flatmates wanting to try some!

Serves 5-6 people


500g shin of beefs, cut into 2x2cm cubes

2 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil)

2 garlic cloves, crushed or grated

2 medium onions, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped

2 parsnips, diced

2 green bell peppers

2 medium potatoes, diced

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp Hungarian Paprika (sweet)

1 tbsp ground caraway seed

2 cups of water

Salt and black pepper, to taste


1. Add the oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat and then add the onions to the pan, cooking them until they get a slightly browned colour.

2. Remove the saucepan from the heat to prevent the paprika from burning and add the Paprika. Stir until the cooked onions are covered with the paprika.

3. Add the cubes of beef and cook until the beef turns into a white-brown colour.

4. While the beef begins to darken and the juices are beginning to simmer, add the garlic, caraway seeds, salt, black pepper and the bay leaf. Then pour enough water into the saucepan to cover the content of the pan and then simmer on a low heat for around 1 1/2 hours with a lid on the saucepan, until the beef is cooked halfway.

5. Add the diced carrots, potatoes and parsnips to the saucepan, along with 1 or 2 cups of water. Add more salt and black pepper if necessary.

6. After 30 minutes, when the vegetables are cooked thoroughly, add the green bell peppers and cubed tomatoes to the saucepan and cook on a low heat for around 5 minutes.

7. Adjust seasoning (if necessary) and serve with pasta or on its own. IMG_2674


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