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Hungarian Goulash Recipe

Our Hungarian Goulash
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OUR Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash was cooked as early as 800 A.D. by Magyars. They used a large cauldron (a bográc in Hungarian) and cooked over an open fire. So goulash is a meal with a history!

There are several meats which can be used in place of beef (mutton and chicken are common) and seasonal vegetables are added. Onions, pepper and wine are additional essentials to this heart-warming dish.

The consistency of Hungarian Goulash is also very variable. Sometimes it is cooked almost as a soup, in other cases it is more of a thick stew.

This dish has, as can only be expected, evolved over more than 1200 years and there are a huge number of variations in the recipe. There is no one true recipe, this example however is our favourite.


Ingredients for Hungarian Goulash
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Ingredients for Hungarian Goulash

450g  / 1lb braising steak

1 medium sized onion

2 medium sized old potatoes (e.g. Maris Piper, King Edward)

50g / 2oz flour (any type)

Small can (app. 200g / 7oz) chopped tomatoes

1 medium red pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ level teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove

¾ teaspoon ground paprika (the commoner sweet type)

¼ teaspoon ground mixed spice or cinnamon

Beef stock cube dissolved in small amount of hot water (approx. ½ cup)

100ml / 3fl oz red wine

½ teaspoon dried mixed herbs

COOKING TIME: 2 hours 15 minutes
EQUIPMENT: Oven proof casserole dish and frying pan


Trim the beef and chop into roughly 2 cm (1 inch) cubes.

Remove the seeds and pith from the red pepper and slice into 4 pieces.

Thinly slice and chop the onions.

Peel and chop the potatoes into roughly 2 cm (1 inch) cubes.

Slice and crush the garlic.

Pre heat the oven to Fan 160°C / 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.


This recipe is an English version of goulash. In recent traditional Hungarian cooking, goulash (gulyas) is more liquid than in this recipe and is in fact a chunky soup. If you wish to eat this dish as a soup, add a cup full of stock to the casserole dish.



Place the flour and pepper in a bowl, add the beef cubes and roll them around until they are well coated with the flour mixture.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the frying pan, warm to a medium heat and add the flour-coated beef cubes. Fry for about 3 minutes, stirring continuously to ensure the beef is browned on all side. Place the beef to one side.

Beef cubes in flour
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Beef cubes in flour


Add the one remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan and fry the onions and garlic on a medium heat until they are softened. This will take around 2 minutes.

Keep stirring the onions while they are frying to ensure that they are cooked evenly. Savour the delicious aroma of frying onions and garlic!

Frying onions and garlic for Hungarian Goulash
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Frying onions and garlic for Hungarian Goulash


Add the onions, beef cubes, potato cubes, chopped tomatoes, garlic, paprika, stock, ground spice, wine and herbs to the casserole dish. Give it all a good stir to mix evenly.

Cover the casserole dish, place it in the pre-heated oven (Fan 160°C /180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4) and cook for 2 hours or until the beef is tender. If using chicken instead of beef, cook for an hour.

Half way through the cooking process, remove the casserole from the oven and give the ingredients a good stir. This will stop anything sticking to the bottom of the casserole dish and at the same time will ensure that all the flavours of the dish are spread evenly.

Hungarian Goulash in a casserole dish
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Hungarian Goulash in a casserole dish


20 minutes before the goulash is cooked, place the quartered peppers under a medium heat grill (skin side upwards) for about 10 minutes until the skin is blistered.

Take the peppers away from the grill and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Peel the skin away and slice the peeled peppers into thin strips (see the picture below for an idea of size).

Baked and sliced red peppers
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Baked and sliced red peppers


After two hours or so of cooking (longer if you want to tenderise the meat even more), take the casserole from the oven, place the sliced peppers on the top of the goulash and place the covered casserole dish back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Goulash topped with red peppers
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Goulash topped with red peppers


Hungarian Goulash can be served with any vegetables you fancy, we chose to keep it simple with a portion of long grain and wild rice.

With the amount of pepper used this goulash will be mildly peppery. Maybe next time you will use more or less pepper and / or paprika depending on how spicy you like your food.

Hungarian Goulash and rice served on a plate
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Hungarian Goulash and rice served on a plate

14 RATINGS GIVEN - AVERAGE Four star rating
Not Given 21 September 2020 From: N
Lovely dish...some people just take it soooo seriously! I am Polish studying in UK and I am delighted when anyone attempts to cook foreign meals even if they use olive oil instead of something else. And yes!! add whatever you like! Isn't cooking all about experimenting and evolving? Moreover it does not break my heart when someone uses slightly different ingredients. Anna I think you need to get a life.

Not Given 25 September 2020 From: Millreef
I made up this goulash with quorn beef strips & presented it to my meat eatin' friends & they wanted more. But I got to add those that are complanin' should be grateful that they are eatin' that which tastes fine, good grief.

4 October 2020 From: Cami
I don't care if it's not real goulash, it's delicious anyway! I didn't have much time so I made it on the stovetop and with ground beef. It tasted delicious and I'm happy I found this recipe!

22 October 2020 From: David
Cooking at the moment .. tastes good BUT 3/4 TEASPOON of paprika ... what measly tastes you have .. I put 3 TABLESPOONS in ... and that's just about enough. But as many said before, it ain't Goulash by a long shot; not even an English version thereof. Best if cook calls it what it is .. Beef Papkrika Hotpot, but even then the chopped potatoes should be cooked in the dish. Mmmm .. going back for another taster ..

22 October 2020 From: Ian Lohse
Goulash is like coq au vin , lancashire hot pot, ratatoui or stifado. Originally peasant dishes that do not really have a proper recipe. I really enjoyed this one but would agree I used far more paprika.

20 November 2020 From: Dave in Birmingham
Very nice could omit spuds in cooking and serve on a bed of mash.

26 November 2020 From: Tanya
I love this recipe, so simple, I vary the amounts a bit and use 500ml of Guinness instead of red wine and also add carrots, yummy, hearty winter stew. I know its not authentic goulash as a few posts have said but delicious.

28 November 2020 From: Lesley
This was a lovely meal.. easily prepared and enjoyed on a snowy cold and frosty day.. and I like the comment peasants food... recipes can be altered to what's available.. rustic recipes.. i love.. i served this Hungarian Goulash with dumplings.. and roasted root vegetables.. also slow cooked.

6 December 2020 From: Not Given
I loved this dish I am only 12 but I love cooking of course I had help  cooking it I just like to prepare it lots of people have there own ways of cooking Hungarian Goulash and should not be judged for this.

17 January 2021 From: Paul
Great recipe, its my 3rd time making this, I can't get enough of it. I use lamb instead of beef,  but a warning its very, very hot :)

6 February 2021 From: Chris
I used your Hungarian Goulash recipe as starting point. I read the comments and decided to leave out the olive oil. Instead I braised the meat in sour cream! I don't know if that's the done thing but it seemed to work. I made a stock from the bone of the meat and a couple of stock cubes. I threw in a cinnamon stick - I think that's important, and some red wine. I added a tin of garlic diced tomatoes (to save messing around with garlic itself) and a can of champignon mushrooms. Later I added mixed herbs and paprika - both powder and capsaicums (flamed as you suggested). After a couple of hours on slow heat it was really wonderful served with a dollop of sour cream - I reckon that's a key ingredient you missed, as it gives a nice tang!
Comment: Thanks for that very detailed variant on the recipe! I'm sure others will try it out.

Not Given 6 February 2021 From: Janos
My grandfather is Hungarian, he used to cook me gulyas when i was a boy, very authentic just like his mother cooked it for him back in Budapest, i now cook it for my son and wife, i have changed it to our likeing, it is still more watery than your recipe but i throw a lot more veg in even green bananas and more paprika we have it with crusty bread not rice, your recipe sounds more like a casserole either way still sounds delicious and will definitely give it a go.

Not Given 6 March 2021 From: Grace
Made this recipe today. Will use more paprika when I make it again. Added soured cream just before serving. Served with creamed potatoes peas and sweet corn - everyone thought it was lovely.

2 August 2021 From: Roberta Baker

3 September 2021 From: Thomas magnusson
Excellent, really pleased with it.

4 star rating 17 December 2021 From: Colin
Cooked this in the slow cooker, didn't have any wine while making it but still came out delicious. As said in some of the comments above, I will add more spices next time I make it.

5 star rating 15 April 2023 From: Not Given
This has become a family favourite. I don't find it takes 2 hours to cook though. Cooking today will see what my 10 month old makes of it

1 star rating 13 October 2023 From: Joyce
Haven't had Goulash since the '70s when my mother made it regularly after having sampled it in Austria on holiday. It was delicious! And I'm brought to this site today after being reminded of Goulash from a Polish friend who just happened to mention on Facebook that she was having it in a restaurant in Southport the other day. So here I am looking for recipes having been inspired with delicious memories! My mother used to omit potatoes from the dish and serve it with jacket potatoes and soured cream, so that's what I'm having for supper tonight! Thanks everyone for all your comments and suggestions - I've made a note of some of them and have enough variations to try, and keep me going for this winter! Will report back. Enjoy your Goulash in whatever form!!! x

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